My daughter was intrigued by the possibilities of an internship during the school year. She was going to figure out a way to travel the distance each week, and the dream began to take shape. The dream dissipated when she bumped into a senior classmate who had done the internship. The classmate explained the 10-hour days, getting berated for minor issues, and living the life of a second-class citizen.
What do former members say about the organization? Those that left the team carry valuable insight about the ins and outs of how things work. Is this insight sought out, gathered, reviewed and archived? When does the archive get examined to determine if the change has occurred, or if history is about to be repeated? Does leadership see this input as a valuable resource or is it ignored?
What does your current team say about the organization? Does the annual climate survey input drive change or is it just to impress stakeholders? How does leadership pursue regular information and turn it into action? How is a genuine sincerity and desire to serve expressed through the team?
What do your customers say about the organization? People comprise the organization. Real flesh and blood are making decisions, answering the phone after clients have navigated the labyrinth of phone menus, and conduct house calls to repair the products. Do the customers have the same realization or is the team just another conglomeration without a face?
What do you say about the organization? What are the descriptors you use when talking to a neighbor as the kids play sports? Are you proud to state who you lock arms with each day?
If many employees suffer the same trials as my daughter was about to endure, it is only a matter of time before major trouble is experienced and everyone suffers; the founders, employees, and customers. Catch cancer early for any chance of survival.
Going Further: What changes are required? Who is your contact to discuss these matters? When will you express your observations to drive change?What is one step you can do to make a positive impact?