The Survey Feedback Process for Organizational Development and Change
THE PURPOSE OF SURVEY FEEDBACK:
In globally competitive environments, organizations are seeking information about obstacles to productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. Survey feedback is a tool that can provide this type of honest feedback to help leaders guide and direct their teams. Obstacles and gaps between the current status quo and the desired situations may or may not be directly apparent. In either case, it is vital to have a clear understanding of strategies for diagnosis and prevention of important organization problems. If all leaders and members alike are clear about the organizational development and change, strengths, weakness, strategies can be designed and implemented to support positive change. Survey feedback provides a participative approach and enables all members to become actively engaged in managing the work environment.
SURVEY PROCESS STEPS:
Once the data has been collected and observations have been clarified, it becomes the leader's responsibility to familiarize the team with the findings. Next the leader involves the team in outlining appropriate solutions and strategies that members can "buy into" and support over the long-haul. When leaders can facilitate collaborative teaming and become an organizational development and change agent, people in the team will contribute creative ideas to enhance their work environment.
It is important for leaders to not underestimate the time and facilitation skills needed to pass on the information and foster an action-oriented environment. The initial meetings and communication sessions are just the start of a development process, not a single event. If the survey feedback is to be effective, it must be implemented into a comprehensive strategy that includes goals, responsibilities, time frames, revisions, and reviews.
Prior to the action meetings, leaders need to gain a full understanding of the survey data and begin to structure a plan for the first meeting. Once the meeting begins, the leader should guide the group's evaluation of the results and development of solutions. Following the initial meeting, a summary should be documented and action plans circulated. Follow-up meetings are necessary to coordinate and evaluate changes and progress. Action plans are the means of fully utilizing the survey feedback, without it we simply have a snap shot of where the organization is, with no plan for positive change.
If the team feedback meeting is poorly handled, there will be low front-end commitment on the part of the team. Of course group dynamics will be unique in every situation, and the leader will need to consider this as the survey data is disseminated. Tailoring sessions to meet the group characteristics will provide for a more effective discussion. In any case, consider a few of these ideas:
The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) was founded in 1978 with the vision and mission to help improve individual leadership and team member skills within organizations.
If you would like to speak with someone regarding organizational development and change, please do not hesitate to call us at (801) 569-3444. We will be more than happy to share our experience with you in more detail.
HRM: Contributing to Well-being or Ill-being at Work?
If you were to take the people out of an organisation you would be left with some stock and machinery that would be of little value, and possibly some property. It is the people that make an organisation function, so having the people functioning to the best of their ability must surely be best for an organisation. Yet much of what is undertaken in the field of HRM actually serves to detract from people functioning at their best. Evidence from studies of wellbeing in the workplace reveal some interesting findings that raise questions as to whether the current focus of HRM will adapt to the evolving future workplace, or whether it will need to be redrawn along different lines, focussing on maintaining wellbeing above all else in the workplace to enable people to be successful for their organisations.
Integrity... Should It Matter?
In our fast paced work culture, manned by technology savvy generation in a globally competitive environment, quality and productivity became the battle cry of corporations to stay in business. Though this is not necessarily bad, an equally important ingredient to succeed is seemingly taking the back seat.
What Every Manager Should Know About How to Overcome Boredom
Do you find yourself easily becoming bored or tired at work for no apparent reason? If that's the case, then pay close attention. Research has shown that fatigue and a worn-out feeling are often caused by unproductive mental attitudes. If this describes your case, read on to learn six ways you can overcome boredom.
Tales from the Corporate Frontlines: The Responsibility for Job Security
This article relates to the Job Security competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. This competency evaluates how your employees view their job security within your organization. In today's often volatile or contingent labor market, it's crucial to understand the level of security your employees feel about maintaining their jobs. Studies show that employees who do not feel secure in their jobs are less likely to be committed to best assisting customers. Evaluating this competency can be especially useful if your organization has suffered recent layoffs or firings.
Why Good Enough... Isnt
About a year ago, I had an opportunity to have dinner with the CEO of an engineering startup company in Pennsylvania. As we discussed engineering design matters over Chinese food, he took a few moments to talk about his business philosophy. "As far as I'm concerned," he told me, "if a product is good enough, then it's perfect." He explained that in his view, product improvements should only be performed with the specific goal of increasing sales. "Anything else," he said, "provides no benefit to the company. It's just over-engineering."
Deciding What to Delegate
DECIDING WHAT TO DELEGATE: Once the benefits of delegation are established and obstacles removed, the next step in the delegation process is to decide what work can and should be delegated. In general, work to be delegated should adhere to the following guidelines: - It can be handled adequately down the line. - All necessary information for decision making is also available down the line. - The work involves operational detail rather than planning or organization. - The task does not require skills unique to the manager or position. - An individual other than the manager has, or can have, direct control over the task.
The Ins and Outs of Internal and External Relations
INTERNAL PUBLIC RELATIONS: Never overlook an opportunity to do internal public relations about your department and its offerings. A training department must, first and foremost, be visible in the organization it serves. Larry Lottier, Manager, Education of Dana Corporation publishes a training department course catalog with faculty, course listings and course descriptions to publicize his department's offerings. Gary Slobodian, Assistant Manager, Corporate Staff Development, of Great-West Life Assurance Company has found that getting training on the agenda at national sales meetings increases his department's visibility.
Three Professional Services Resolutions for 2005
With client expectations higher than ever before, and the gradual industry recovery ahead, consulting firms will need to focus more than ever on carefully identifying and serving the right clients.
Conflict at 36,000 ft
This was supposed to be one of those sleepy flights that leaves late, crosses two time zones, and arrives at 11:00 p.m. But it wasn't.
Keeping Meetings On Track
We all have been in meetings with certain people who get our blood pressure to rise or just make us feel what a waste of time. Here are some of those people and hints on how you can maintain keep the meeting on track without coming across as a dictator or inept leader.
Organizing The Information
Putting a piece of paper in a file folder is easy; finding it again is the hard part. There are ways to make your files easier to use and your papers easier to find. Invest in a sturdy, four or five-drawer file cabinet. Spend the extra money it takes to get quality and durability. You'll spend more money replacing a cheaper file cabinet a few times than buying a reliable one in the beginning. You may not have enough files to fill the cabinet now, but believe me, you'll need it in the future.
More Computer Consulting 101 Hiring Tips (Part 2 of 2)
Does your company need to retain the services of a competent computer consulting firm, but you have no idea how to really evaluate "competence"? In the first part of this two-part series on Computer Consulting 101 hiring tips, we looked at why small businesses find it so difficult to hire good computer consulting companies, as well as four basic questions that you must be addressed when searching for a new computer consulting vendor. Now in this second and final installment of this two part series on Computer Consulting 101 hiring tips, we'll look at how you can evaluate the true, often-confusing expenses of using a computer consulting company, as well as how to more thoroughly review the computer consulting company's professional credentials and experience.
6 Simple Steps to Dealing with Difficult Managers
The challenge of managing difficult managers can be rather daunting, especially when you inherit them! If they are your own born and bred, then hopefully they would have evolved into great managers!Experience shows that difficult managers are difficult because they are angry and frustrated about something or somebody (even themselves - especially where they are, or have become, a square peg in a round hole of a job), so the steps to take are these:-
Dont Let Your Measurements Mislead You
Don't Let Your Measurements Mislead YouThere aren't too many words that can strike as much fear and loathing into the hearts of your internal customers, and sometimes your own employees as the words "Operational Measurements". Operational Measurements often get a bad rap because of their misuse by well intended, but misinformed management. And it's easy for your employees to view Operational Measurements as some kind of cheap trick to force more work out of them as you constantly try and force more and more production from your team. Meanwhile, your sales team thinks that you will use Operational Measurements to cloud the issue of customer satisfaction by pointing to your "great numbers" while leaving the customer very unhappy. The truth is that you cannot succeed in managing an operational organization without the proper measurements in place. Any attempt to run an organization without them is doomed to failure because you will lack the fundamental information required to manage your business. Coach Dave is a strong believer in Operational Measurements because he knows that the right measurements, taken in a consistent fashion will allow you to continuously improve the performance of the organization and the company. Yep, Operational Measurements are good. . . . except of course, when they are bad. In simple terms, Operational Measurements are progress meters that can tell you how well, or how poorly your group is performing. The key to successful Operational Measurements is to make sure that you are managing and measuring your key processes. It all starts with your departmental or company objectives. You should have 2 to 3 major objectives, depending upon the size and scope of your organization. The key is to focus on whatever it is that you are really being asked to deliver on, and then set up your objectives, and Operational Measurements in a way that can tell you if you are succeeding or not. If your objective is production based (i.e. produce 50 widgets per month) then make sure that your measurements track the number of widgets produced. If your measurement is time based (i.e. complete widgets within 10 days of receipt) then once again, make sure that your measurement tracks to the objective. You would be surprised how easy it is to create measurements that sound important, but have nothing to do with your stated objectives. For example, if you goal is to paint 10 houses each month a metric that tracks how many brushes you use may sound important for cost control purposes, but it really has nothing to do with the objective. By focusing on the number of brushes you use, you may actually impede your ability to complete the goal of 10 houses. Ensuring that your objectives and measurements are in synch will keep you and your department focused on the prize. Once you have your key measurements in place, you can start to look for a pattern in the results. If you are not able to meet your objectives, the question has to become "why". It could be a variety of factors from bad inputs, to bad processes, to bad people. To determine where the problem is, break out your measurements in that area to each key step in the process. As you examine those results it will become more apparent that "step 5" takes up 80% of the processing time. Then you can focus on reducing the time spent on that step. One other key factor to account for as you measure your process steps is "wait time". "Wait time" doesn't always manifest itself clearly in reporting, so spend the time to analyze how many handoffs exist in your process and ask yourself and your staff if some of those handoffs can be eliminated through combing functions, training, etc. It is simply amazing the amount of time lost in a process due to the "wait time" while an order is sent from one person to the next. Reducing the "wait time" can dramatically improve your results. In a nutshell, that's why you need to have good, clean Operational Measurements in place. Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count. - Albert EinsteinAny time your organization receives some kind of a work order from a customer (internal or external) adds value to it, and then either completes it or passes it along to another organization, you qualify as an Operational Organization. As an Operational Organization you need to have solid measurements in place to measure, validate, and eventually improve your own internal processes. But there is a downside to Operational Measurements as well. The downsides can take many forms, but the most common are when you start to measure everything that you do, simply because you can. Also, when your measurements rather than your customers, begin to drive how you do business. Are you counting the right things? The right way? Are you counting so many things that counting them has turned into your primary business? Are you helping your customers, or hurting them? That's the difference between good Operational Measurements, and bad ones. When Operational Measurements Go Bad: When you first implement your Operational Measurements, you will spend a lot of time analyzing, improving, and tweaking them. The painstaking process of developing and implementing the right measurements requires a lot of time up front. But that time is time well invested to make sure your measurements are complete, accurate, and in synch with your organizational objectives. You must spend the necessary hours making sure that your Operational Measurements track to your objectives, that they provide a consistent measurements, and that they are at the appropriate level of detail to allow you to identify weaknesses in your operation, and implement improvements. But, when you find yourself counting things because you can, or you begin adding measurements that do not relate to your objectives that's the first sign of trouble. Also, when your Operational Measurements become the sole driver in your organization, that's a pretty good sign that you've turned the corner and are headed down the wrong path. Remember, not everything that counts, can be counted. And just because you can count it, doesn't mean you should count it. Let's use the example we previously discussed of a house painter. For our purposes here, this is a big house painting company with multiple crews who do different types of painting. At the start of the year the decision is made to set a new objective for your crew. You are now being asked to paint 13 houses per month with the same size crew, up from just 10 last year. You sit down with your crew and begin to look for ways to improve productivity. You make the necessary changes to your team or process and then set out to accomplish your new goal. Your changes are effective and productivity improves and you start reaching your new goal. Then, a funny thing happens. You get a memo from your boss that goes something like this. "The bean counters tell me that your paint brush usage is up 15% above last year. Every dollar counts, so I'm putting together a special task force to cut the number of paintbrushes being used. We need to reduce our paint brush usage to 10% below last years level within 30 days." And . . . . we're off . . . . this is what I sometimes refer to as "The Operational Measurement Shuffle". What is the Operational Measurements Shuffle? It's a dance that management sometimes does where we lose focus on our objectives and instead start dancing with a lot of extraneous information that may LOOK important, but really isn't. Sometimes it's not entirely clear when the Operational Measurements Shuffle actually begins. But if you pay attention, you'll see the dance by the end of the first chorus. We're now going to start counting things (paintbrush usage) that has nothing to do with our objectives, but that looks important to someone else far away. Notice that the boss didn't ask you to explain why paintbrush usage was up, nor did he look at the cost/benefit of paintbrush usage versus revenue, he just told you to reduce the usage. You can expect this new measurement to be followed by new measurements of the painters' hats being used, the amount of thinner being used, and questions about the number of rungs required on the ladders. And lastly he blamed the "bean counters". The uninformed always blame the bean counters. At first glance you might think that it's ok to wonder about the paintbrush usage. And it is. But there is a difference between asking a question, and putting in new measurements to track them. For example, a smart boss would have called and asked about the increase in the number of paintbrushes being used. Your response might have been something like this. "That's right. Our paintbrush usage is up. In order to meet our goals for the year (13 houses per month) we made a change from regular paintbrushes to disposable paintbrushes. The new brushes cost 30% less than the old ones, plus we save on turpentine, and clean up time at the end of each day. So our paintbrush usage is up, but our costs are flat or down." With a good boss, that will end the discussion. You've answered the questions, explained the variance, and shown that there is just cause for the increase. But a bad boss will not listen at all, or will just pretend to listen and then suggest new measurements on paintbrush usage. With a bad boss the fact that there is a valid reason for the increase in paintbrush usage is not really relevant. Paintbrush usage is up, and it must be reduced. For a bad boss, it's as simple as that. If you have learned how to manage your boss, then maybe you can convince them that the measurements are not relevant by showing how they don't relate to and can even detract from your objectives. But some bosses are so enamored with measurements that they can't tell a good measurement from a bad one. The long and short of this discussion is simple. If your measurements are clearly in support of your objectives, you are most likely on the right track. If your measurements have wandered from the objectives, no longer support your customers, or even put you at odds with your objectives, it's time to take a step back and rethink your measurements. After all, who are we to argue with Einstein
Forget The Sandwich Technique
Do you remember being told to use the "sandwich" techniquewhen you needed to reprimand someone? Let me give you anexample:
Crisis Management Tips
The term crisis management has different connotations. In this article, I will try to provide pointers that can be used in most situations:
Demise of the Lone Ranger Manager: A Lesson in Management Communication Style
When executives see themselves as solely responsible for the overall success of their enterprise, subordinates can hardly be blamed for acting according to predictions.
Survival of the Fittest: The Road to Human Extinction
I was watching a TV program some months ago about a biologist working in Central America who was dedicated to protecting the panther species from extinction. During the program I heard him make a comment that upon reflection I found had embedded in it seeds of wisdom that not even he was aware of.
Vampire Meetings and How To Slay Them
Meetings can be like mythical vampires ? sucking the life out of intelligent and creative people. And sucking the funds out of businesses. Unfortunately, there are too many of these meetings in business today.
The Compliance Officers Killer Application
It used to be that only the largest multi-nationals needed a Compliance Officer. Today most practices, regardless of size, would be wise to charge someone within their organisation with the responsibility of keeping abreast and managing the compliance process.Take as an example European employment law that has been introduced over the last few years that has changed the face of European businesses. Small businesses in particular are finding that a casual and informal approach to employment issues can now result in statutory fines that have no bearing on the financial health of the individual company and could, without as much as a by your leave, directly result in the demise of a company.Small to medium businesses do not often have the luxury of employing a full time Compliance Officer and although larger organisations can afford a dedicated person they are finding that with compliance issues mushrooming the Compliance Officer now has a team, a department and if not already, how long before compliance becomes a division? Regardless of size, the first step in compliance for any organisation requires them to identify the areas of compliance that are applicable to them. Rules and regulations are being introduced monthly on a local, regional, national and international level, covering everything from data protection and freedom of information, anti-money laundering to environmental waste control, race relations to health and safety; with ignorance being no defence there is a requirement on the individual businesses to know their responsibilities, and fines for those that wait to be told. Having identified the areas of compliance the company then needs to understand what they need to do to ensure they comply. It is becoming conceivable that with the shear volume of compliancy issues that companies who can show a good faith effort in complying will, even when they fall short, reduce the risks of fines.Having identified and understood the compliance issues the Compliance Officer needs to define and implement policy and disseminate the information throughout the organisation.It is important for the Compliance Officer that they do not inadvertently become the company's patsy. Senior managers are not averse to ignoring the internal memos they receive advising them of their responsibilities. Compliance Officers need to deliver their messages up and down the corporate food chain and record that their advice and directives have been received and more importantly understood.The Compliance Officer has to avoid becoming the company scapegoat. This won't happen by itself, a sales team that has a long history of success though a relaxed attitude to selling is not going to willingly adopt new, and what they will see as restrictive, practices without a fight. 'I didn't get the memo', 'I didn't understand it', 'I thought it meant something else', 'I thought these were only guidelines' are likely to be stock replies, along with the one or two old timers that didn't think compliance issues applied to them. It used to be a safe bet to blame IT, blame Compliance is rapidly taking its place.One valuable tool in the Compliance Officer's tool box is the online survey and questionnaire.The online survey can deliver a message internally to the individual; it can be informative like a memo and educational by referencing detailed policy. Importantly it can become a valuable self registering record that confirms that the information has been properly disseminated and understood.A single survey question can achieve all these objectives at the same time.Take an example:-Are you aware that section 45 of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003 imposes an obligation on directors of certain companies to prepare statements on their company's compliance with its relevant obligations? (Click here for a summary of Company's Policy on Compliance Reporting Obligations)YesNoFor those Directors that have not read the policy the survey will give an opportunity to view the company's policy online (using an embedded live HTML link). Should Directors answer 'No' the Compliance Officer knows who to target.The survey also records the manager's response and shifts the responsibility away from the Compliance Officer to the individual manager where the responsibility needs rest for a company to meet its compliance obligations.Using an online website such http://www.surveygalaxy.com where multiple surveys can be managed, easily modified, updated and re-issued on a periodic basis across an organisation online surveys can be the Compliance Officer's killer application.Through the regular use of online surveys the Compliance Officer will be in the driving seat, leading and not chasing compliance issues, not only circulating the information on a one to one basis but also monitoring and recording the level of awareness throughout the organisation.The Compliance Officer's role is a difficult one, like a parent keeping a wayward child on the straight and narrow, most employers, let alone their employees, often do not fully understand the true consequence of their, often innocent, minor discretions. Assigning a Compliance Officer is a start but enabling them to fulfil their remit will be the difference between a company being fully compliant and one that risks suffering the consequences for having let compliance take a back seat.
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