Everyone’s favorite question to ask business owners seems to be: If you left the room, what would your employees say about you? And although it’s a very thought-provoking question, we’d like to take it further. Our challenge is to ask yourself, “What would my employees say about me…if they were drunk?”

It’s easy to keep mum and skirt around honesty when you’re in a professional work setting. But when you’ve thrown back a few shots of truth serum and have liquid courage, the real sentiment is bound to come out. After a couple of drinks, would your employees rave about you or rant about you?

What Could You Learn From A Drunken Employee?

Although we’re sure there are some major legal reasons why you can’t use this exercise for your bi-annual employee reviews, have you given much thought to what you could learn from a drunken employee’s rants or raves?

Your Strengths

If there’s one thing drunk people love to do, it’s tell you what they love about you. Wondering what you’re doing right as a business owner? Whether it’s the flexibility and freedom you allow your employees or the way you handle conflict, a drunken employee will let you know what he or she loves, admires, respects, and approves of in your company and your management style. And the more you identify your strengths, the more you can highlight, develop, and protect them.

Your Weaknesses

If there’s anything drunk people love more than telling you what they love about you, it’s telling you what you suck at. Are you driving your employees crazy with your micromanaging? Do you use passive aggressive management techniques or bully your employees into doing what you want them to do? Do your company processes and procedures waste massive amounts of time? Whatever it is that could use improvement in your business, you can bet you’ll hear about it a couple of drinks in.

What Makes Your Employees Tick

All of these things are great and can ultimately help you become a better business owner and manager, and run a better company. But perhaps the most important thing you could learn from a drunken employee is what your employees value and what they’re passionate about.

Listening to what your buzzed employees bring up in their slurred rants or raves would shed some light on what they consider to be important. Not only will this help you identify ways to motivate and reward your employees, but it’ll also let you know what not to skimp on when money’s tight or you decide to do some organizational shifting.

You Shouldn’t Have To Get Your Staff Buzzed!

We’re not suggesting you do a power hour during your next weekly meeting or don a fake mustache and hide out in the corner of your staff’s favorite pub — we just want you to give some thought to your management style, company culture, and company policies, and really consider whether or not they’re benefitting your business and your staff.

If you are a good leader and take the time to really listen to and observe your employees, making effort to get to know them and what their average workday is like, you won’t have to wait until an employee gets out of hand at a holiday party to know what your staff cares about and what you and your business do well or could improve upon. If you care about the success of your company and the happiness of your employees, take the time to inquire, and really hear them out!

Remember, happy employees make productive and loyal employees. And we’ll drink a root beer to that!

Psst…we’re hiring!