Strategy Execution Blog, Research and Analysis
Feeding the Feedback Through
In England it has been snowing quiet heavily over the past few days. As is often the case here it has caused quite a bit of disruption with delays and cancellations of flights and trains and problems on the road. Against this backdrop I’m pleased to be able to receive updates from the road gritters in the town where I live on their activities clearing the roads.
At first the messages were just bland updates on when snow was expected and when they would be out ploughing or gritting roads. Over the past few days people have started sending the gritting team thanking them for their hard work and showing appreciation. At first there was no response to the messages, but gradually I’ve noticed the gritting team have started responding and interacting with the public – enjoying the appreciation with messages such as “the gritting drivers are loving your feedback”
In addition to the messages of thanks, people seem to be commented on the roads being clearer than ever before and from the updates the gritters seem to be working around the clock. It might just be my perception, but it seems to me that the gritters are responding to the feedback of the public and this is reflected in their work. Who wouldn’t feel a sense of pride with such feedback? Even if I’m just imaging that they are working harder than ever before, there is no question in my mind – I’m sure that there is no question in their minds that they play a very important role in the community and that they are appreciated for it. I wonder whether they had any awareness of this before.
In fact I wonder whether the vast majority of organisations working within organisations understand the importance of what they do. Do the employees within your organization? In fact if you are in charge, be it as a Chief Executive or a Board level executive – do you recognise the importance of the people working with you?
Individuals may have goals or objectives but do they know how they fit with the wider organizational plan?
I’m an HR specialist and the entry point for the majority of projects that I work on is HR. All the same the first thing that I always want to understand on any assignment that I work on is the organisation’s business objectives and strategy. I actually believe that this should be the starting point for all HR specialists – internal or external. How can we otherwise support an organization if we don’t have a proper understanding of what it is that the organization is trying to achieve.
Similarly I believe that business objectives and strategies should be drilled down to form the strategy and objectives for different departments and units of the organization. I further believe that this should be filtered down to individual objectives and roles so that everyone understands how the part that they play fits in to the bigger picture. This should be applicable whether they are working in sales, serving customers, working in a back office making photocopies or what have you.
In the case of my local gritters they have received some great feedback from the public – I hope they also get feedback (formal and informal) from their bosses. But what about yours? Do they receive updates not just on their individual objectives, but on Departmental and Organisation-wide objectives. Are they also commended for their work on a regular basis by you such that they know that their contribution is valued and that they are an important part of what you do.