Managers often spend hours analyzing reports and brainstorming potential solutions to problems. Yet sometimes the answers already exist and are waiting to be tapped simply by asking your employees. The key is to recognize and reward people once they speak up, so that they continue to contribute their knowledge and ideas. Steve Heller, an assistant manager at Costco Wholesale in Carlsbad, Calif., recently told me how he and his front-end managers were wracking their brains to find ways to ...

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