When Walls Talk

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Unknown

Day in and day out we have all become consumed by staring into our computer screens or mobile devices.  So much so, we forget to look around.

When I visit a client’s office, I always pay special attention to what is on the walls because I’m curious to see what messages are being shared with employees and external customers.  Are the strategic goals of the organization displayed prominently?  Are the measurement charts displayed in the call center and, if so, what does management measure and monitor closely?  Are employees allowed to decorate their workspace?  Is there a notice for a staff picnic scheduled for next week?

Often by the time I’ve been led through the maze of cubicles and/or offices to the conference room to meet with leadership , I’ve already identified disconnects and potential cultural challenges.  So your strategic goals say you want to improve customer service while your measures show that you are trying to decrease the length of time your call center staff is on the phone helping a customer?  Or, as a good friend and colleague shared with me once, you have a fancy motivational poster expressing just how valuable of an “asset” that your employees are to the company…and of course that poster is hung next to the thermostat which is locked up so that no employees could possibly think about changing the temperature in the office.  Hmmm….really?

What do your walls say?

Opportunity for Reflection:

Take a look around your office.  I mean a really close look.  What do you see?  Try to look as if you were an outside customer, or a new employee coming into your office for the very first time.  What would your fresh eyes see?  Is that really the image, or the message, that you want to convey?

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