How to Find Out What’s Going On In Your Company
Are you a CEO, manager or other leader looking to find out what’s REALLY going on in your company? Are you concerned you don’t have the full picture? Do you want to see for yourself? Here are some ways that you can rapidly increase your knowledge about the business you’re running.
Drop by Your Locations Unannounced
If you tell ’em you’re coming, odds are good you will see everything as they want you to see it, not as it is. If you visit out of the blue and then see unexpected concerns, ask questions and take photos. Above all else, help resolve the issue. It’s possible the team on that end has been asking for help all along or isn’t aware of the severity.
Take 2-4 Non-Managers Out to Lunch
Invite them to lunch and tell them you’re on a quest to get to know more of the team members better. Once at lunch, ask questions about them and their work. Find out if there are any pain points while taking time to celebrate their wins. This will mean a lot to them and it will provide you with direct access to the horse’s mouth.
Have Someone In Your Family or Friends Circle Secret Shop You
Want to know what your client or customer experience is really like? Ask someone you trust to secret shop you. Get them to take photos or videos if possible and make notes on wins and opportunities. Don’t use this as a witch hunt, but instead as a means to discover areas of improvement and where praise may be warranted.
Host a Teambuilding Activity
Take one of your teams on an activity like an escape room. Watch their approach to things. Ask questions while the activity is in progress. Who knows? You might just find someone due for a promotion to a leadership role in this setting.
Invite High Performers Into Your Office for a Listening Session
Ask each of your VPs for a very short list of stars on their teams. Invite a few of these folks foward for a working lunch and listening session. Pose a few questions to the group and listen carefully to their responses. Ask things like, “What do you think we do well here,” and “What is one thing you’d do if you were the CEO”. Make sure they know you’re seeking ideas and input from those who live and breathe the brand each day.
Host an Idea Exchange
Invite employees (in small groups) to a meeting and ask that they bring an idea for the company. It can be large, medium or small – something that they’d like to see us try, something that would improve processes or perhaps a way to get more business. You might find a gold nugget with this one!
Ask Various Levels of People For Their Thoughts on Areas of Opportunity
Make your way into the trenches and ask the people who work for you how they’re doing. Then probe a little to see if there are areas of improvement they’d like to offer. “Anything we can do to make your life easier here in your part of our world?” or “Any suggestions you’d like to bring up that may have been on your mind recently?”. At the bare minumum, people like to be heard. It’s also possible that you find something very useful in taking this approach.
Ask to Review Meeting Recap Notes from Time to Time
A good manager will provide a recap to his or her team when a meeting is held. Is this a practice in your company? If it is, ask to review these notes from time to time. Make sure to tell the person you’re asking that you’re not seeking anything bad and no one is in trouble – but instead, you just want to get a flavor for the action items that are currently afoot as well as any pain points (and how you can potentially help).
As you can see, the best source of information is the front lines and the best intake method is your own eyes and ears. A good CEO has his or her pulse on the company at the different stages of the year and while senior leaders of departments are a good source of news & updates, there’s no subsititue for getting out in the field.
If while in the field, you come across any outdated office furniture or the need for additional desks, chairs, tables, huddle stations or workstations, we’d love to help! Tell us what you saw here and we’ll come to you to help plan your project.