Back in May 2014, I wrote a blog post entitled How to Get the Pulse of Your Organization. In this post I described two techniques that can be used to effectively communicate and lead your organization; “Did You Know” emails and a web based employee feedback system. In this week’s article, I will introduce two other techniques that I used to communicate and keep my finger on the organization’s pulse.
- Monthly lunch with the leader – Pick a random set of employees each month to have lunch with you. Do not repeat employees until everyone in the organization gets a turn. A group size of 10 to 20 works best. Use these lunches as open mic sessions for employees to ask you whatever questions they may have. Be open and honest with your answers and wherever possible tie the answers back to the organization’s vision, mission, values and goals. Above all else, listen intently to the feedback, take notes and never get defensive. These sessions are your opportunity to hear what your organization is thinking and talking about. If the conversation starts out slowly, you can prompt discussion by asking questions like;
- What in our business is working good right now?
- What is not working good?
- What is the organization’s vision?
- What values do you see your leaders and the organization modeling?
- If there is one thing that you could change about the organization, what would it be?
- What is one thing that you do not want changed or would not want to lose?
- Publish customer feedback – Build a system to publish customer feedback in an online forum so employees have a chance to see what is working well and what needs improvement from the customers’ perspective. Write a simple comment for each customer feedback that ties it to the organization’s vision, mission, values and goals. This forum also doubles to provide kudos to employees publicly when the customer feedback identifies them or their projects or services.
Note that both of the tools introduced today can be used to provide additional items for the “Did You Know” tool introduced in part one of this blog post back in May.
These two new tools can provide you excellent feedback from all levels of the organization. As mentioned in the first article, if you take this feedback and directly address the concerns and disconnects and reinforce the positives, vision, mission, values and goals, you can radically improve the communication and overall morale inside your organization.
“What people complain about communicates their understanding of the vision.” Andy Stanley