Employers, employees, and anyone else so inclined may submit a question to the White House. The Obama Administration just launched a web site called Open For Questions, where visitors (who must first sign-in), may ask any question for which they think the federal government may have an answer. So many things could be said about this initiative but I’ll limit my comments to the employment realm.
First, if this is not a “sign of the times,” then I don’t know what is. All of the employers out there who “don’t want to learn” how to use Facebook–this is your call to arms. Even the President of the United States is promoting his “brand” with social networking!! Please, please, don’t be behind the federal government when it comes to technology and innovation.
Second, this is one super example of the value of communication. Employers, follow Obama’s lead and listen. Ask questions and then listen to your employees’ responses. One scenario where this is not being done nearly enough as it should is with employee engagement and retention. The very best employers know that exit interviews (i.e., “What did we do wrong?”), come too late in the game. Instead of waiting until you lose your best employees, sit them down now and ask them, “What are we doing right/wrong?” and “What can we do to enable you to continue to enjoy your work and working for us?”
Give it a shot, hold an “Open for Questions” day and interview each of your reports to assess the current level of satisfaction and to find out what really is important to them.