A recent article in the Harvard Business Review gives suggestions for middle managers and line level employees who have ideas for changes within their organizations, but need to get buy in from the executives. This is an interesting thought. How many great ideas are floating round your organization that you haven’t heard of?
“Studies show that senior executives dismiss good ideas from below far too often, largely for this reason: If they don’t already perceive an idea’s relevance to organizational performance, they don’t deem it important enough to merit their attention. “
Is this an issue within your organization? What does the bottom up communication look like at your company? If this issue is plaguing your organization, there is something you can do about it. The key to gathering the ever important ideas from line level employees, customers, suppliers and colleagues are your middle managers. How can you get them to speak up and share what they have learned? According to the article, middle managers are more likely to speak up when they:
- Identify with the organization
- Have a positive relationship with their audience
- Feel psychologically safe in the organization
- Think someone above them will take action
- Care enough about the issue to invest energy in selling it
The good news is, these are all things that senior executives can control to some extent. If you are looking for innovative ideas about moving your company forward, why not focus some attention on the five areas listed above? In fact, you will see great improvements in employee engagement, satisfaction and likely turnover if you focus on these areas for all employees, not just middle managers.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts with us.