iStock_000034845668MediumEarlier this week, Dana and I tackled the idea of disruptive employee communications on her radio show.  Studied show that over 70% of us are not engaged at work.  Encouraging employees to disrupt in a good way could be the answer!

Disruptive is the new buzzword in business today. Disruptive technology, innovation, finance—as a business model, disruption turns an industry upside down and offers something so different that consumers can’t help but take notice and, hopefully, get in line to be part of it. As an example, think about your first video chat, the first time you paid a bill online or filed an insurance claim via your smartphone. These innovations didn’t come from thin air—they came from companies and employees who saw a need and filled it, or who had heard one too many complaints about something and fixed it.

So maybe it’s time for disruptive employee engagement—empowering employees to make decisions and solve problems collaboratively in an environment that encourages finding new solutions. This approach offers a wealth of resources you should consider for your business:

  • Companies can enable their employees at every level to explore new ideas and solve challenges simply by including them in the conversation—the more you do it, the more they trust you.
  • It’s important to understand that every employee has more than one skill set. Your workforce consists of multiple points of view and talents that lead to innovation, communication and problem identification.
  • What if you asked different questions of your employees than the usual employee survey: What do you find difficult about working here? What “time sucks” do you encounter regularly? What would you change if you could around processes or technology? How can we make you feel more engaged?
  • In every case, top management has to lead and listen. One poor manager, one grudge, will stop the process. Zappo’s new “holacracy” reduces that risk because decisions are made by groups, not individuals who could squelch a good idea.

What’s the benefit for your company? Engaging your frontline employees improves your vision into the minds of your customers and consumer trends, allowing you to make better forecasts. Engaging them also helps you identify promising talent; reward employees and acknowledge their value; and drive innovation and revenue for your business.

Change is a constant these days. Incorporating it into your company from the ground up is not only smart, but it also creates an environment in which your employees will want to work and grow. And that benefits everyone from the C-suite to the frontline to your customers.

To read more about the idea of disruptive employee communication, check out my blog post at:

— Margaret Lisi, CEO St!r Marketing