Why You Should Listen to Your Best Advisors—Your Employees

The often-overlooked way to know how your initiatives will play out in the real world? Ask the people who will be enacting them.

When planning for organizational improvement, you could hire consultants or play out scenarios behind closed doors—or, you could ask your employees what they think. It may seem like an obvious idea, but it’s often overlooked. And you don’t have to present a fully formed change plan: try asking people in HR what they’d do about sales, or ask the folks on the front lines of your organization what they would do to improve the company. At the very least, you’ll gain insight into the concerns of your staff and make people feel heard and valued.

Below, learn from three executives who know the value of getting into the field and hearing from the people on the ground.

How California Pizza Kitchen was missing out on feedback from three quarters of its workforce, and created a system to fix that

Shannon Kirk is Harnessing Employees’ Best Ideas

Why attorney Rebecca Roby brings corporate ideas straight to the floor of Hard Rock International’s casinos, hotels, and restaurants

From the White Board to the Real World

How Sunbelt Rentals’ HR department keeps in close contact with its 12,000 employees around the country

Growth in High Gear

Illustration: Jany Zhang