You’ve probably already thought about your budgets and KPIs, and I’m sure you’ve already heard so many tips about setting goals for this year that you just want to get on with. Have you thought about asking what your staff are hoping to achieve this year and how they feel they can help make 2017 your best year yet?

Getting insight from your staff, the doers and front-line of your business, may prove not only a useful trust and company-culture exercise, but may also give you some real actionable ideas to improve your business. You could uncover great ideas about product development, productivity, technology updates, flexible work arrangements and collaborations. The list goes on, but you’ll never know unless you ask!

Just gathering your team together and asking for great ideas won’t necessarily result in amazing suggestions immediately landing on your desk. You need to approach this in a manner that encourages staff to speak up and foster an environment where your employees can come to you throughout the year (not just when you’re in “planning mode”).

Tips for encouraging employee suggestions:

  • Ask about specific areas that you believe need improvement and ask for their input on how to improve. This will get the ball rolling rather than just saying “what can we do better”.
  • Keep an open dialogue with staff about their ideas and put in place a process for submitting ideas ongoing. Consider if implementing an Employee Suggestion Program is right for your business.
  • Reward staff that show initiative, whether or not you implement their idea.
  • Share your goals with staff so they know what they’re working towards and can help you improve in key areas to reach your goals.

Your employees can be your best assets if you harness their insight, motivation and ideas to grow your business together. Work with your team and get them excited about making 2017 your most successful year yet.