gear80 – Make Employee Complaining Go Away Forever

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Make Employee Complaining Go Away Forever

Jay Wilkinson solved complaining at his company, Firespring, with two simple tools. Employees don’t vent in the halls—they solve their own issues.

Firespring, #829 on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies, runs the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS), also known as Traction. Companies running EOS get employees solving their own problems at the department level with two tools: Issues List and IDS.

Imagine Bob and Jane from your marketing team walking down the hall toward the water cooler.

Bob: “The salespeople aren’t using the new marketing materials. I wish those [insert colorful descriptor here]would shape up.”

Jane: “OK, put it on the Issues List.”

Bob (sheepishly): “Ya got me. I will.”

And the complaining stops right there. Bob’s confident his issue will get addressed and solved at marketing’s next weekly Level 10 Meeting.

Bob knows the “salespeople not using new materials” issue will get solved with IDS, a simple tool teams use to set issues up, knock ‘em down, and make ‘em go away forever. Here’s how it works:

Identify: What’s the real issue here, the disease causing the symptoms? Let’s focus on that.

Discuss: With the real issue identified, everyone shares their best clarifying questions and ideas once—because more than once is politicking.

Solve: Someone volunteers to take action to solve the problem by next week, because we have a bias toward action.

With Issues List and IDS, you can become fire preventers rather than fire fighters. Unsolved issues are like millstones around your neck, weighing your business down for weeks, months, quarters, years. It’s exhausting—but not at companies like Firespring, and Executive Travel (#4915 on the Inc. 5000 list), and Bulu Box (Silicon Prairie News’ Startup of the Year).

Business success is in direct proportion to your ability to solve issues. Successful people are just really good at solving their issues. Successful people use EOS.

Issues List and IDS are part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System: A complete, proven system with simple tools to help you do three things we call vision, traction, and healthy.


Vision, from the standpoint of first getting your leaders 100% on the same page with where your organization is going and how it is going to get there.

Traction, from the standpoint of helping your leaders to become more disciplined and accountable, executing really well to achieve every part of your vision.

Healthy, meaning helping your leaders to become a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership team because unfortunately, leaders often don’t play very well as a team.

From there, as goes your leadership team, so goes the rest of your organization.

We get to the point where your entire organization is crystal clear on your vision, all much more disciplined and accountable in executing your vision, gaining consistent traction, and advancing as a healthy, functional, cohesive team.

Call (402) 608-1608 if any of this resonates with you. I’d love to show you and your leadership team how to get vision, traction, and healthy right away.

gear80-LogoJohn Fulwider is a professional EOS Implementer. gear80 provides a proven system with a complete set of practical tools to help you get three things; vision, traction, healthy.