When we hire someone, I try to get as large of a cross section of our folks to meet with the candidate as possible. If the person is hired, this range of current employees was part of the decision, they are invested in helping the person to be successful, and they feel that their opinion matters.
Whether it's new hires, a change in business direction, taking on new clients, using new software, or whatever - make employees part of the decision making process, even if just a little bit. It's a reward to them, it helps you make the most informed decisions, it makes implementation smoother, it builds stronger teams.
Why does including employees happen so (relatively) little? I know it takes time ..... there may be too much other facts to put in context ..... you might have to admit you don't know everything. But those aren't good enough. While this INC article (dated 5 days into the future :-) focuses more on team building and becoming more respected, it reminded me of the importance of including employees.
In times like these, according to NYU Stern's professor Steve Blader, it's more important than ever for organizations to focus on team building. In two recent studies, he found employees who feel they are part of the company's social fabric are more likely to be productive, satisfied workers. That requires bosses to listen, treat employees with respect, and include them in decision-making.
"Get everyone focused on being part of a group; when employees are team members, differences recede," he said.
Both Blader and Spencer suggested opening lines of communication and inviting more employee involvement.