March 22nd, 2012

Status report

Exit interview

I was asked yesterday what three things I would change at Il Postino. My answers:

1. Better support for promotions. "Let's ignore me: I had people I wanted to promote, who are ready, and I couldn't. Even just a change in job title means a lot to people."
2. Better communication. "This habit of 'cascading' everything means it's all Chinese whispers and by the time the message gets to the lower layer, it's been distorted. Tell people directly and communicate regularly."
3. The culture needs to change to really encourage challenges from the bottom. "My team will because I've built an environment where it's safe to do so. But when I attend a meeting with senior management here, they're all nodding dogs agreeing with each other that people just like to have a whinge - instead of taking employees' concerns seriously. We're letting all of that potential go to waste because the management doesn't want to hear anything different. The ideas are there. We're the ones that need to learn how to hear them."

I also said we needed to stop being cheap about silly things like not collecting the garbage, only having one tea room for 100 people, et cetera, but I slid that in as a comic aside. We'll see if any of these things make a difference. I bet not.

Meanwhile, I was told I'd done a great job and I was welcome to come back. I said I'd see how things were looking in three years. Verdict: HA HA HA.