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#BusinessTipTuesday – National Be Heard Day

In this week’s Business Tip Tuesday we are recognizing National Be Heard Day. This national day actually falls on March 7th, and it is designed to give small businesses a voice over some of the larger big businesses that usually are given precedent. The history of this day goes back to 2004, where business mentor, Shannon Cherry, created this national day for small businesses to be heard over big business marketing. 

            While this day can and should give small businesses a voice, National Be Heard Day can also stand for so much more than just small businesses. For dedicated, hard-working employees, being heard and feeling like you have a voice within the company when it comes to decision making can go a long way when it comes to the job satisfaction of employees. There are a multitude of tools that business leaders can use in order to make employees of a company feel like their opinion is valued and can potentially be implemented into a company’s policy or plan going forward. Here are some of the ways that leaders can get employees to feel valued within the workplace.

  • Practice being the last to speak
    • The modern idealist, Simon Sinek, that seems to be taking social media by storm with his ideas has suggested that “practicing being the last to speak” is an effective way to see how your employees really feel about certain aspects of your business and what ideas they may have to improve it. As a leader, by not forcing your opinion first, you give employees the comfortability of expressing their own ideas without having to contradict their boss’ opinion.
  • Conduct surveys that collects opinions on company policies and work efficiency/effectiveness
    • This method gets all employees involved and can be anonymous if necessary to make sure that privacy and work integrity is kept secure.
  • Hold brainstorming meetings
    • Sometimes, having an extra meeting every week to simply discuss new ideas can keep employees motivated and excited about creating new opportunities at the company. Adding some complimentary food and drink can also help this type of meeting be more relaxed and free flowing, without too much opinion judgement. 

These are all effective ways that leaders of business can connect with employees. The more open you are to hearing your employees, the better a leader can be in empowering action from employees on so many different levels. Going forward practice some of these methods and see how they can help your company grow as a whole.

Sean Myers
SBDC Intern
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center

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