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How to Avoid
"Turning Your People Off"
When They Come Up With Ideas

We can accidentally turn our people off forever when they mention problems they see at work.

When an employee brings up a problem, they’re taking a BIG RISK. Others might think the employee is stupid or off-track. Or worse, others might ignore their ideas, indicating that they or what they have to say is not worth listening to.

Think about how your employees feel when they bring up an issue and their supervisor says, “I don’t have time for that right now.”

I should have kept my mouth shut.
I did the wrong thing in speaking up.
I’ll never bring anything like that up again.
I’m embarrassed.
What you’re busy with is more important than me or my issue.
Gain Sharing Embarrassed

If we don’t handle this well, there are long-term negative consequences.

(1) They may never speak up again.
(2) We might lose a good employee because they don’t feel valued, respected, wanted, included.
(3) We miss out on the “nugget” they’re trying to tell us about.
(4) We want to build a team and these are the moments that determine attitudes/actions in the future.

So what can we do?

1. Make sure your leaders recognize that speaking up is a BIG DEAL for subordinates.
2. Do what it takes to make sure subordinates feel they did the right thing in speaking up.
3. If you can’t take action on it immediately, let them know why. And have them help you figure out how to make something happen.

You might say something like, “Wow, I’m in the middle of something else, but I want to be sure I don’t forget about what you’re saying. What can we do here? Can you get Bob to help you? Can you write that down and put it on my desk?”

Profit Sharing Write It Down

Can they write it down (or get help writing it down) to follow up later? Can they start a maintenance request?

Get them to help you make something happen so the idea isn’t lost. No one else will have more enthusiasm for their idea than they do.

People would rather you give them a “no” to their idea than ignore them. It’s being ignored that’s the big problem.

We encourage people to speak up about ideas, but the way we respond often leaves them feeling belittled, embarrassed, ignored.

Leaders need to be sensitive to this, and doing so can make a HUGE difference in motivation, communication, turnover, and productivity.

Your Homework
Have a discussion about this with your supervisors and other leaders. Ask them if they know of any instances where ideas were not handled properly.

What procedures, training, etc. does your Company have to help avoid problems in this area?

You know, really trying to do what the company was trying to do, to the best of their ability? People can put on a good show.

Whenever you’re ready . . . here are six ways we can help you:

1. Gainsharing Executive Briefing DVD
This free DVD gives a quick primer on Gainsharing and it's “must have” features. It was created by a television producer and includes on-site interviews with actual Gainsharing users. Click here to request your free copy.

2. Gainsharing BluePrint
Answers the question “How could this be applied in my Company?” Outlines both the formula and “Boots on the Ground” connection fundamentals required for an effective Gainsharing system. Click here to request more info.

3. “40 Minutes to a 5 to 15% Productivity Improvement” Webinar
Learn how to motivate employees and give them “skin in the game” to drive results. Click here for direct access.

4. Invite me to speak for your group or trade organization
I would be pleased to serve your trade organization or other groups as a speaker. Click here to email me about your opportunity.

5. In-person, on-site presentation at your company
Let’s put a presentation together for your Management Team and others. It’s an ideal way to explore how Gainsharing applies to your specific circumstances without the cost or inconvenience of travel for your people. Click here to email me to discuss customizing the presentation for your Company.

6. Webinar for your company
We can also develop a custom webinar presentation for your company. This makes it easy to get a quick overview using technology to maximize convenience. Click here to email me to request more info.

You can also send your questions to or call 317-371-1021.

About the Author:

Dr. Charles (Chuck) DeBettignies is an author, speaker, seminar leader, Gainsharing expert, and founder of Gainsharing Inc.

His company implements Gainsharing processes to motivate employees to pursue great performance with a performance-based pay reward system that leads to an improved bottom-line at the same time.

Many companies say it's the single best thing they ever implemented for both their company and employees.

Gainsharing Inc. specializes in Gainsharing Systems, and offers design, implementation, and assistance to drive impressive, lasting success.

Gainsharing Inc.
P.O. Box 501548
Indianapolis, IN 46250

© 1997-2017 Gainsharing Inc. All rights reserved.



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