Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting Candid Opinions

Executives who don’t get honest feedback from subordinates either must not be trying hard enough or are actively discouraging it. As this article notes, it can be fairly easy:

How do top executives like Mr. Thiry know they are getting accurate feedback? Some comes from worker surveys, but most is culled at town hall meetings. Mr. Thiry holds about 20 a year and tells each of his vice presidents to convene one whenever they are with at least seven "teammates," or employees. "You can ask for a show of hands and find out immediately if your new scheduling software is terrible," says Mr. Thiry, who tells workers to think of DaVita as a "village where there's shared responsibility and a shared vision of reality."

Managers collect reams of data to further pinpoint problems. Every month, treatment center managers get reports on operations and quality of care, including treatments per day, labor hours per treatment, and the retention of employees and of higher-profit, private-pay patients.

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