“In week one of the Leadership Development Lab I was challenged to make a 90-day goal. My goal was to meet with each person in our company and get feedback on ways we could improve management. I asked each employee the same four questions:
1. What would you like to see improved from the office?
2. What tools could you use to make your job more efficient?
3. What could I do differently to make your job easier?
4. What is your favorite part of working here?
“The first thing I observed was that the people who are usually the most opinionated on a daily basis really struggled with answering these four simple questions. While the people who do a great job but don’t usually say a lot were more than happy to give meaningful responses.
“Here are answers that spurred the most thinking:
* Some were unsure of job descriptions of managers so they didn’t know who to go to for certain issues. Since the responses have come in we have created and communicated improved job descriptions.
* Some were unsure of their progress and if they were making profit on their jobs. So we began to meet with each employee individually to go over job profitability.
* Job site foremen wanted to know how jobs are bid to ensure correct installation. In response we are meeting with job foreman before the start of each job to go over materials and any other pertinent information.
* Some people wanted tablets to send job related emails so we are starting out by sending five tablets into the field to see if that is helpful.
*About 40% of the responses I received were issues we already had solutions for that employees were not aware of because of our lack of communication.
“We are continuing to meet with each employee individually to ask more questions to help spark creative thinking and make necessary improvements. The most powerful question is the last question we ask each employee, ‘What is your favorite part of working for us?’ Almost every person has responded by saying, ‘This!’ This is their favorite part of working for us. Now they feel like they are part of the team and can approach management comfortably. By having these one on one meetings we have tightened the bond and made them feel wanted and appreciated.
“The lesson I learned from the experience of meeting with each employee is it creates more loyal, happy employees.
“The action I call you to take is meet with each of your employees, ask questions, listen non-defensively, and see how many opportunities you will uncover.
“The benefit you will gain from seeing your company through the eyes of your employees is process improving ideas and a connected, loyal, highly engaged team.
Congratulations to the 92 February 2018 Leadership Development Lab graduates!
Classes graduated in Vancouver, Washington (25 graduates), Clackamas, Oregon (38), and Bend, Oregon (29). Successfully completing the Leadership Development Lab requires persistent effort and courageous determination. Thank you to the 30 companies represented in these classes.
You can reach Larry Dennis
in Loganville, GA