Filter-Free Fridays™ Implementation Strategy 2 July 8, 2010Posted by Kevin Burns in #fff, #filterfreefriday, approachability, business model, change, communication, corporate culture, culture, customer, engagement, filter free friday, kevin burns, keynote speaker.
In Part 1 of the Filter-Free Fridays™ Implementation Strategy, we discussed having a lunchtime social event in which staffers were invited to give and receive ratings on the Approachability Scale.
After everyone has had the opportunity to reflect on their scores, gather up all of the little pieces of paper and average up all of the ratings. Then, later in the day, announce the department’s overall “Approachability” rating.
Then, set out to create a strategy to determine what the barriers are to approachability within the department: both from staff and from customers (whether they be external or internal).
In order to accomplish that, you will need to remove some of the barriers to approachability that exist in the department. For example:
- If people are not answering their phones and choose to screen their calls hiding behind voicemail, that’s a barrier to approachability.
- If people don’t return email or their phone messages, that’s a barrier to approachability.
- If there are dominant personalities who hog the conversation at staff meetings, it prevents shy staffers from articulating their thoughts – another barrier to approachability.
- Telling a customer (internal or external), “I’m swamped – you’re going to have to wait” is a barrier to approachability.
- An unfriendly receptionist or poor or run down reception area is a barrier to approachability.
- Managers with closed doors are barriers to approachability.
- Feeling overwhelmed by workload is a barrier to approachability.
- Not wanting to participate in making the workplace better is a barrier to approachability.
These are all problems found in most every organization. Your people know who the worst offenders are and, in fact, the worst offenders know who they are. It’s time it was talked about. Filter-Free Fridays are the days you speak the unspoken.
I encourage you to send out an email to every department staffer on Thursdays reminding them that “tomorrow is Filter-Free Friday™” and encourage them to bring their honest, open and non-hurtful communication with them to work, their best unfiltered ideas to improve the work-flow and their best unfiltered ideas for innovation to make the workplace a better, more approachable place to work. Perhaps consider erecting signs on the wall, at the coffee station and other high-traffic areas reminding your people about your Filter-Free philosophy on Fridays (put them up Thursday nights and take down at end of business Friday to ensure that staff don’t become “blind” to them by seeing them every day). Make Filter-Free Fridays™ an event.
The challenge is to make your workplace more approachable. You will never achieve that if the barriers to approachability aren’t being talked about openly. By implementing a Filter-Free Fridays™ workplace strategy, you will begin to change your Culture from one of silo-building to one of openness and transparency. You can’t tear down silos without open communication.