Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reflections from today's office day - Listening to our employees thoughts

We tried to get together with the entire team (although sometimes we miss getting Tunc from Turkey here) one day a month and discuss the developments of the company. Also since this year we did tie a portion of the salary to the overall fulfillment of the BP (revenues and EBITDA) we have started sharing with the team these numbers. This initially poised different challenges starting with explaining the concepts behind those financial terms, how we have build the business plan and so far so on

Usually I really put a lot of effort on preparing these events. However it is also true that is difficult to have the team truly engaged and interative and sometimes it is difficult to generate questions from the team.
So after we finished today we have a little session of Q&A with the usual results. I decided at some point then to ask the team one question: "when you look at the slide of the results, define in one word what you feel? I was really grateful that people did share their minds in that sense to us even if some of the words did surprise and even dissapointed me as I internally I was hoping to get better words

So hear is what I did hear and the actions I believe we can do around those words and individuals to try to turn around those words:

- "not relevant for me" - should I leave this individual alone and just focused on his day2day job (in which he is really good) or should I ty to engage him one more time. Or should I ask him would anything work for you to engage on this part of the business
- "negative" (2 votes) - Will just improving the numbers turn their word into positive, is there something else?
- "Blurry" - Is this blurry as lack of trust on our direction or lack of understanding of the picture
- "Uncomprenhensible" - I need to sit down with this person and ask him what it is not undertable in the numbers. I am sure there is a more simple way to present the numbers
- "Transparency" - well this is one of the key objectives of doing this exercise
- "Challenge" - Indeed lots of things to do, even more important to do better things than doing more
- "Optimism" - Indeed there are a number of facts / events that invite us to be optimistic
- "Most important thing" - Indeed at the end we need to reflect all our actions into numbers

It will be interesting to reflect on a similar exercise after talking to some team members individually, change a number of things and have another quarter under our belt

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