Is Your Organization Losing Steam?
November 11, 2009
In the toil of everyday working and just staying abreast with the needs of a business, it is easy to lose track of the constantly evolving organism that an organization is. If you don’t stop to check what state your organization is in and where it is headed, the shape it takes on it’s own might surprise you, to say the least. Here are some thoughts for you to chew on.
First, some clear signs that your organization has lost it.
1. Lunch breaks keep getting longer, 5 minutes at a day.
2. Your company is in a race to make YouTube the most popular website with employees viewing and sharing links everywhere.
3. Your organization drifts from one idea to another instead of finding it’s small niche.
4. Team meetings are infrequent and anything but invigorating. All conversations end in a either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’
5. Keeping up with current affairs has become an activity in reading Page 3 news.
6. Performance appraisal is an almost alien term, or worse, there is no performance to appraise.
Here’s a clear test – Mission Statement – Who knows it?
Ask your team in the next meeting whether they know what the mission of the organization is, they don’t have to spell it out verbatim; look for signs where people feel it is absurd and irrelevant for you to ask such a question. If everyone answers satisfactorily – congratulations, people are in sync what the organization wishes to achieve. If not, well, it’s time you either re-think your mission (Is it too abstract? Something straight out of a book?), or get down to finding out why your people are not motivated by it. What does an organization do when it doesn’t know what it does?
OK, it’s broken! What now? Take your client’s help.
Setup an online feedback form and request your clients to fill it out for you. Bad feedback never killed anyone, but it does give you the knowledge of what you are doing wrong. Form questions that help you understand the gap in promised service to actual delivery, like:
1. Is there a gap in the service we promised to the one that is now being delivered? If yes, please elaborate.
2. If you could change three things at
3. Is the representative appointed by our organization knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the work they do at
Avoid questions that might induce bias or negative action – for example if you know that things have not been going too well off late, it would be stupid to ask a question like “Would you recommend us?” The purpose is to get feedback that you can use to improve the level of service and find out hidden gremlins in operations, a copy-paste job will only serve to make things worse.
Lastly, and most importantly, involve the people.
A majority of organizational problems both begin and end with people. If people do not volunteer information, have a round of team building activities in order to set the tone for it. The information gathered from client feedback can be discussed as a team and further used to make an action plan with timelines.
If people seem to be losing steam and you sense a growing disinterest amongst them, conduct an engagement survey with targeted questions to find out what precisely is not working for them.