Your organization consists of much more than just your employees and managers. Clients and customers, providers, contractors and others are also included in the role of “stakeholder.” When you’re ramping up for a transformation initiative, it’s important to gather the inputs from all stakeholders, not just those who are most obvious.
Tools to Succeed
There are a number of tools for gathering stakeholder inputs, and many organizations will employ more than one. The “suggestion box” approach, while quick and easy for employees to submit, takes far too much time for management to review and evaluate. Instead, consider using an online survey to solicit suggestions, comments and complaints from employees, and offer your customers or clients a way to provide input in a digital format as well.
When you’re looking for input, it’s important to remember a few key components to the most successful and useful systems. Remember to request actionable suggestions, and to use an open-ended question instead of a simple “yes / no” question format. You’ll also want to allow your stakeholders to submit their comments and ideas through an anonymous venue. That will alleviate any concerns as to speaking one’s true mind on difficult topics.
Ask the Right Questions
Put together a short list of the questions you feel would most immediately impact your organization’s policies, procedures and processes. Those questions will likely be specific to a certain type of stakeholder, with some questions designed specifically for managers, some for employees and some for clients or customers. Touch on topics like productivity, cost reduction, morale, diversity, product and service quality and employee turnover rates, and allow your stakeholders to address what you consider to be your most difficult situations and topics. You just might be surprised at what this type of input gathering reveals about your organization, its customer service and employee management style.