Unplanned Drop-Ins Disrupt Information Flow
I asked a business owner recently how he gathers information from his employees.
His reply: “I stop by each person’s office.”
You’ve seen it. The check-in. The boss swings by, unannounced, pops their head in the office and says:
“How’s it going? What are you working on? Everything on track? OK. Good…”
Sometimes the boss may spring some unexpected assignment on you. Other times, they just encourage you to “carry on.”
Most managers -- and their employees -- can relate to this. The manager gathers information in snippets. A quick check-in here. A water-cooler conversation there.
There are several problems with this approach.
If managers randomly gather information with pop-ins and water-cooler chats, information flows inconsistently. Things fall through the cracks. Time gets wasted.
It’s Disruptive and Annoying
When you call or show up unannounced and ask an employee for feedback, you interrupt their flow. You distract them from their work. They lose track of where they were. And then you wonder why they were short with you?
Information is Incomplete or Incorrect
When you ask employees for feedback without warning, they respond reflexively. The information they give you often comes from the top of their head. They’re not focused. They’re not prepared. That means the information they give you is, at best, partial and, at worst, flat-out wrong.
Information Flow Halts Between “Pop-Ins”
If you gather information via unannounced visits, then information flow stops when you’re not popping in. Employees wait for you to ask. There’s no system to gather and distribute information.
Knowledge Is Not Documented and Properly Transferred
When’s the last time a quick check-in or water-cooler talk ended with someone distributing notes? Key information may be exchanged. Critical ideas may surface. But then no one documents the discussion. No one records calls-to-action.
That’s why I told this business owner : “This has to change. How are you ever going to grow and transition out of your business if that’s your mode of communication?”
From then on, we worked together to implement Systems of Efficient Communication.
In my next post, I’ll share some of the systems we put in place to get communication back on track, eliminate confusion and frustration, and dramatically improve efficiency.
NEED TO STOP THE DROP-IN AND FIND A MORE EFFICIENT WAY TO COMMUNICATE?
Schedule a free 30-minute call with Cheryl who will help you fine tune your strategies to achieve your goals and accomplish more.