are we on the same page? - July 2011

Mark Spring July 19, 2011 : 0

Or as we often say around here, “in the same waka?” We’ve just got the results back from a staff alignment survey we conducted. When you’ve got people spread right across the length and breadth of the country, operating in small often isolated teams, ensuring that the message gets through on a consistent and meaningful basis is crucial. Our alignment survey is therefore about checking that staff at a store level are on the same page as our head office.

To do this, we asked our people to anonymously respond to questions like whether they think we are a company that ‘encourages creativity and innovation’, and whether ‘straight talk is encouraged’. We’ve worked hard in recent years on creating alignment across the business, so we were obviously hoping for a reasonable outcome, but the results surpassed even our expectations.

Using a scale of 1-4 (with 1 being strongly disagree and 4 strongly agree), there was an average differential between staff and management of just 0.28. The strongest alignments were seen in the following two questions:

- I understand the significance of my job and how it contributes to the end result (Avg score 3.82)
- I see a future for myself at dtr (Avg score 3.6)

We were pretty confident that all staff would feel ‘straight talk is encouraged at dtr’ because we are incredibly open about all sorts of information – the latest financial results are even displayed on a TV screen in the kitchen! I guess we have a little way still to go though as the average response was just over 3.2 out of 4.

Of course it’s easier to be open and transparent when the wind is blowing in your direction, but it’s certainly been a cornerstone of how we have run the company and something that will continue, regardless of how we’re performing.

86% of staff (134 people) completed the ten question survey.

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