Employee Responsibility as a concept is absolutely relevant in today's business environment. Now more than ever, companies are looking to employees to contribute positively to business "resets" taking place in the economic climate today. Companies are looking to employees to assist in finding new ways to save money, to be a part of cost-savings initiatives and to identify opportunities for new business. Here are several key thoughts to consider: Involve Everyone. Engage all organization employees (top-down/bottom-up) in efforts to save money and grow the business. Operational cost management initiatives should involve everyone from CEO to business analyst and communication to all employees on progress must be part of the plan. Most employees are cognizant of the difficult market and economic conditions and would prefer to be part of the "reset and recovery" initiative vs. see the business continue to diminish, deteriorate and potentially disappear.
Clearly Communicate Goals and Status. The senior leadership must be clear in goals for current-state savings and future-state growth. This should be communicated clearly and consistently and progress against goals should be communicated regularly. At the same time, savings goals could be included as part of an overall performance review process.
Reward Innovation. Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes. Innovation may be found in the area of cost savings (e.g. energy-saving initiatives) or in the area of new product / market development. Most organizations do not harvest internal thoughts, ideas and concepts - unfortunately, most companies do not have a formal process for encouraging, rewarding and utilizing new ideas. Some companies also do not fundamentally believe that new ideas may be generated internally and pay external agencies / firms to lead "ideation". Engaging employees in products and services offered by the company can be a powerful tool in employee responsibility.
Re-evaluate Processes. How is your firm spending money? What's working...what could be even better!? Is there low-hanging-fruit from a business redesign perspective? Ask your employees. Your employees typically know the areas of immediate opportunity from a business process perspective. They are "in the trenches" daily and have knowledge and insights as to how to make small changes for potentially impactful change. Just ask!