A VOICE FOR ALL
Building a successful company is not a one-person job. It never has been. Everyone in an organization has insights that can improve the way a company works. It’s the job of an effective leader to identify those insights and figure out how to implement them.
That was the idea behind a process Meyers completed recently. Over the course of nine months, every employee in the company sat down for a one-on-one interview with CEO Micheal Lane. Some meetings started as early as 2 a.m. and some lasted as long as two hours, but every employee had at least half an hour to speak his or her mind.
In the tradition of company founder Gerry Dillon, who was well known for the interest he took in employees and their families, these interviews provided an opportunity for employees to introduce themselves to Mike. Employees shared information about their diverse backgrounds and personal interests and, in some cases, talked about their desire to advance in the company. The information we gathered in those conversations helped us award three promotions.
The interviews also yielded nearly 220 suggestions that employees believed would make Meyers more efficient or improve the work environment. More than half of those suggestions have already been implemented or are in the works and employees can easily monitor our progress against the list, which is posted on display boards in high-traffic areas of the building.
Completing these interviews required a commitment of time and energy. Following up on employees’ suggestions will require more of the same. But this process will ultimately be worth the effort. The insights employees offered will make Meyers a better, more efficient company. The information we learned about employees’ backgrounds will help us better appreciate the rich culture we have here. And helping employees understand the vital role they play in Meyers’ success will help them take ownership of the work they do.
Outstanding employees are essential to any company’s success. Employees who work on the shop floor or interact with products and clients all day see things that a CEO simply can’t. Finding ways to value that knowledge and the people who possess it is essential to any business’ success.