When assessing your organization's productivity and profitability, don't forget this key stakeholder that may hold the answers to greater efficiency. Your employee base, the people closest to the work, are the most properly equipped to offer insights on how they can spruce up operations that are critical to getting their work done in a timely fashion.
As Kronos Inc.'s Jennifer Dowd explains in a recent article on Governing.com, this can be especially important in the public sector—an industry where resources often don't add up to tasks at hand. It makes sense that the people tackling the work have the clearest perspective on ways to introduce more efficiency into their work, save time and effort, as well as demonstrate accountability for resources, financial and otherwise.
As a manager, you have a variety of options available to collect these valuable insights from employees. Here are a few reliable methods for gathering ideas from the front lines:
Periodic surveys make your organization's interest in employee-driven improvements known with clear windows for submission, keeping the concern top of mind throughout the organization.
Online employee portals offer a more permanent outlet for employees to submit their observations and suggestions (examples in Dowd's article). Just make sure employees are aware a resource like this exists with regular reminders and encouragement for idea submissions.
Third-party assessments with workforce consultants, like ours at The WFC Group, can help uncover even greater opportunities by digging deeper into the employee experience. We know what kind of questions to ask that get to the heart of challenges to productivity.
Don't forget! Employees are pretty darn smart about personal performance data too. We've previously shared the importance of giving employees more visibility into their own performance metrics for clearer organizational impact. You'll likely have more to gain by giving employees that advantage before soliciting feedback, so what are you waiting for?