We just got results from our employee survey. I manage a team of 500 people, 350 of them are employees and I take the survey results seriously.
Oh, but some of the questions and comments wear me down…
In every survey in every company, there are two questions like this:
1. the people in my team work well together
2. the teams we work with partner well with our team
And guess what?!?! The positive answers to #1 are always higher than the positive answers for #2. And everyone thinks someone should do something about #2. I am up to the challenge and work with my team to identify ‘action items’ and processes to enable the scores (and behaviors and interactions) to get better.
But I have to say there are days I realize the following:
a) I have had to say the following to more than one person who is aggravated with someone from ‘that other team’…”what did they say when you went over and talked to them?” only to get the answer that the complaining person didn’t talk to the other person at all. Maybe sent them an email, left them a message, or assumed the person would do what was needed.
b) It seems the people talking about the teamwork not working are always the same people.
So before I get too down, I start thinking about the positive:
a) Isn’t it great to see that when people do talk to each other, they actually work things out most of the time.
b) Some people never talk about the teamwork not working because they know of no other way to work and they practice the right actions all the time. They seem to be able to find the right person at the right time with the right information. This is not just luck.
So, while I get frustrated at times…I won’t lose hope. I believe once I teach someone the two positive messages above they will become a convert. One person at a time. And I guess that is what being a leader of people is all about.