John Fulwider: 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 goes once around the table sharing their best suggestions for solving the issue. Once, and only once, because more than once is politicking.

Solve: With a bias toward action, we move to solve. That means someone raises her or his hand and says, “I will do X by next week to solve this.”

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 Bulu Group (#1,899 on the Inc. 5000 List) and Berry Law Firm (#3,861 on the list).

Firespring, Bulu, and Berry’s success is in direct proportion to their teams’ ability to solve issues. Successful people are just really good at solving their issues. Successful people use EOS.

Got questions? I’ve got answers. Text, call, or email anytime.


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