Employee always wants to be heard and organizations that utilize the biggest source of idea generation (read: employees) towards one’s advantages will go a long way towards achieving success. The recent slowdown witnessed many organizations approaching the employees, in an endeavor to receive valuable, insightful suggestions on different ways to improve the bottom line. People managers point out that such measures not only have a larger impact on the overall performance of the company, but also foster employee motivation.
The recent slowdown did compel organizations to re-look at their strategies and introduce changes in processes and policies. Several of them even had to, very reluctantly, carry out measures like layoffs and pay cuts to ride the storm; this creates unrest among employees and internal within organizations, HR departments of smart organizations in these situations turned to their employees for suggestions; after all, it’s only during testing times an organization can measure the true loyalty of the employee. Experts say that such efforts saw an increased participation from employees across levels and they were more than happy to support their organization and participation in the win-win process after all through this, an employee could also display his/her loyalty towards one’s organization and even enhance one’s productivity. A lot of commendable questions from employees helped an employer to reduce costs at massive levels. Increased usage of voice over internet protocol (VOIP) for international calls was one such idea. Also, having service level contracts with vendors for tasks like facilities management as compared to hiring staff for such services etc helped to curb costs. Recycling paper envelopes using double sided prints where necessary observing earth hour during afternoons wherein natural light is utilized to carry out most of the functions, organizing more pot luck sessions instead of ordering takeout, rationalizing employee pick and drop routes, car pooling etc were a few ideas put forth by employees. Heeding to our employee suggestions, an organization did away with plastic and paper cups and increased usage of personalized mugs in office. Also, employees worked longer hours to ensure project deadlines were met and the employer could also reduce staff. By organizing webinars, online training, video conferencing or teleconferencing travel costs of air/rail/road travel were reduced. Experts say that apart from improving the bottom line such initiatives have larger role to play in organizations. Through such initiatives, there were a lot of things that the company gains besides cost effectiveness. The employees were challenged to think beyond the status quo and come up with newer ways of doing things. This inculcated a feeling of ownership in employees wherein they started treating every office facility and infrastructure as their own and tried to optimize them. It brought people and teams together and fostered a culture of higher level of sharing of knowledge and resources.
Apart from realizing the significance of savings in overheads, it helped us to create levels of employee engagement, ownership and a sense of belongingness. We invested time and energy towards creating blueprints fro paperless processes and green plans, which will now be pursued in full momentum. It did help in bringing in a value for money mindset among employees and the organization as an entity. Employees could be an excellent source of idea generation and organizations that have been able to realize the various benefits derived out of employee participation are making it a regular practice. After all, which employee isn’t bubbling with unique ideas and doesn’t want to be heard?