Motivating your employees to think outside the box to give you profit-making ideas is easier than you might think.

Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital by encouraging them to think out of the box. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace.

Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale.

Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road.

They daily experience firsthand a wide variety of problems – including dysfunction from vendors, shortcomings of software, aggravations of customers, poor intra-company communication and dangers facing your company.

Unfortunately, many companies suffer needlessly because their managers don’t have beneficial relationships and dialogues with employees so they can elicit profit-making ideas.

Simply placing a suggestion box in the employee lounge won’t get the job done.

Typical obstacles to getting employee ideas:

  • Employees don’t want to waste their time and energy.
  • They don’t want to submit ideas only to have them fall into a big black hole.
  • Others fear rejection and want to avoid it.

To eliminate such obstacles for profits, here are the five secrets in motivating employees to offer profitable ideas:

1. Train your managers in how to dialogue with your employees to elicit ideas.

The training should be comprehensive – from listening and getting to know their workers – to taking action when an employee tests the waters and volunteers an idea.

2. Develop and implement programs to enhance employee morale.

Market leaders promote healthy morale because – it goes hand-in-hand with good communication and propels profits.

Simply placing a suggestion box in the employee lounge won’t get the job done.

3. Provide self-improvement training as it relates to job duties.

Do you have employees who fear public speaking? This is significant as an indicator because people are consistent. If they’re too fearful to speak publicly, they’re usually poor communicators with their team members, and they’re too afraid to identify opportunities and share them with you. There are ways to stop stressing in communication and to improve communication with others

4. Explain your vision and business direction to workers.

They need to know your company’s vision, including business opportunities and threats. Explain to employees how their roles fit in the big picture and how operational costs affect the bottom line.

5. Launch an all-out initiative to promote a partnership with workers.

Leading employers partner with their employees to accelerate profits.

Once you’ve accomplished these five steps, it’s important to follow up. Employees need to be recognized and appreciated.

However, if an idea isn’t feasible or needs to be modified, delicately explain why. The last thing you want to do is to damage the progress you’ve made in employee engagement.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related HR strategies:

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

Four Tips to Motivate Employees When You’re Facing Adversity — Effective bosses have antennas to alert them over looming challenges. If they don’t have such an antenna, it’s important for them to develop one for multiple credibility reasons. Even the bosses of small companies can suffer from image problems externally and internally. Either one or both will adversely affect profits.

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance — Studies continue to show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. To improve your business performance, here are 15 HR strategies.

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.