It is very easy to sit in an office with other executives and make decisions as well as changes based on what the numbers and reports say while never actually seeing the work floors before or after. It is also very easy to make changes without asking for staff and employee feedback because the analytics tell you this is what is best. Unfortunately, change is not always productive. It also does not always lead to positive results. If you do not know how new policy implementations are affecting those below you, you may be out of touch with your employees.
The danger of losing touch with employees is many-fold. Sometimes, your best talent resides within the lower levels of your company. If you lose that person, other dominoes can begin to fall, too. You may also not see that new procedural or best practice implementations are having unintended negative consequences. Employees have opinions of their own, but they are not going to necessarily voice them because they are not trying to put their paychecks in jeopardy. If you are someone who believes in continuous improvements across all business operations, keep in mind that the philosophy also requires you to actively speak to everyone within your company. The goal is to acquire feedback and witness how things are actually operating. You can implement changes because the data tells you that you must, but you also have to accept responsibility for positive and negative results.
Every once in a while, get up from your desk to observe how your company runs firsthand. This is called a Gemba walk. Watching your employees work and talking to them about their jobs can help you glean valuable insights. Within the lean management philosophy, professionals at all levels are encouraged to observe business operations on the floor. In order to understand how to become better across the board, you have to understand how they are currently working. Implementing a new best practice can only succeed if you can give a solid reason why the current one is not optimal anymore. Consider speaking with them, taking surveys and data analytics.
To get back in touch with employees, try to engage with them and see what the problem is first. Taking a Gemba walk, which is championed by the lean philosophy, will help you to see what is going on with your employees and see how you can improve. Doing this will help you and your employees to get back on the same page.
Here’s another article we think you’ll like: 3 Things You Should Be Doing to Get Your Staff on Board With Business Improvement Changes