Man about town

Staff survey gives CEO reality check

The CEO has been in an interesting mood and I do not know how to deal with him.
The CEO has been in an interesting mood and I do not know how to deal with him.  

The CEO has been in an interesting mood and I do not know how to deal with him. On one hand, I want to avoid him but on the other hand I realise that I cannot escape. It all started last month when he decided that he wanted to have the “100-day voice survey”.

According to him, this was meant to find out, “how employees feel about the company and the changes he has made since he joined the company”.

I thought that this had more to do with his ego than a true desire to determine real change. I also wanted to tell him that there have been employees who have been calling him the “showbiz CEO”.

This is because a few weeks after his appointment, he insisted on changing the furniture in his office, changing the colour of his walls to golden brown.

Employees would not make a fuss but we all know that the numbers are not looking good and the rumours of retrenchment are flying everywhere.

He also replaced the former CEO’s car which was a decent and usable four-wheel drive car. He also likes to appear in the media and he has appeared in the papers more than six times in the last two months.

This has led employees to think that he is frivolous and does not really care about the business. This is despite the fact that I think he actually cares about the business and he has been pushing us real hard to deliver the numbers.

Since I knew all this information, I thought that the voice survey idea was rather daft and would not lead the boss to feel pleased with himself. However, I noticed that it meant a lot to him so I kept quiet; never mind the survey cost us a whopping five million bob!

Last week, he received the report and he was not pleased. I was shocked when he called me into the meeting room during the feedback session where the vendor gave us a full report of what our findings were. It seems like I was a last-minute addition for when I got into the room, I found a whole room of managers drawn from other functions. One of the “leads” as he called himself started off by telling us all about the “methodology, sample size, interview techniques” and other mundane details which made me feel like I was back in statistics class. I could see that the boss was somewhat impatient with this session for he kept going back to his iPad.

Finally, after a half hour of Intros, the “project owner” took over the findings. I must say that most of us paid attention to the findings because the “project owner”— who told us that her name was Rosa was quite easy on the eye and was a lively entertainer. Yet, despite her looks there was no glossing over the facts.

According to the survey, it seems that most employees do not think there has been much change and to make matters worse they do not seem to think much will change in the near future.  As Rosa proceeded with her presentation, I could see the CEO’s face change as the news sunk and I noticed that he was twiddling his fingers nervously.

At the end of the session, the CEO thanked the company for taking the time — he seemed very calm but I knew he must have been stewing inside. After they had left he said, “Team, this is not good news! Clearly there is a problem. You are not doing your job as managers”. I was taken aback by this statement for after all, this survey had nothing to do with managers- it was all about him.