Close the Loop

In our assessment work with organizations we often provide recommended next steps following the completion of a project. One of the most basic steps that can hinder change initiatives following a project is what I call “failure to close the loop.” This is a lack of communication which often leads to a misunderstanding between leaders and employees.

Here’s an example: An organization completes an employee opinion survey project and a report of findings and recommendations is provided based on the results. The leadership of the organization takes the information presented and develops a strategy for implementing the changes employees said they wanted. The unfortunate by-product of implementing the strategies is time. By the time the changes are ready to be implemented, 6-months has passed. Most employees have either forgotten about the results of the opinion survey or assume nothing is being done with them. Meanwhile, leaders are now frustrated because employees are not on-board with the changes they are trying to implement.

What to do - Communicate to employees on a regular basis so they know that issues raised by the survey are being addressed. There are many times after we conduct employee opinion surveys when employees report that “nothing happened as a result of the survey” and management reports a detailed list of initiatives they accomplished. Don’t let this happen. Take every opportunity to tell employees what you are doing, why and how it relates back to the results of the survey findings. Build good will with employees and regularly communicate progress on survey-related efforts.

Related Articles: Leverage Organizational Culture; Leading Successful Change

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