Describe a time when you questioned an established practice or thought within an organization. How did your actions create positive change? (250 word maximum)
My office has traditionally used a need-to-know policy for sharing information with employees. Regular business update meetings were restricted to a small group of senior leaders. Employees were generally uninformed of key business developments. Unsubstantiated talk and rumours swirled around the office. With key information missing, employees could not see their impact and role in the business. Coming from a start-up culture, where the norm was free and open information sharing, this was an unpleasant surprise to me.
I approached the chief of human resources and suggested that freer information sharing could boost employee morale and productivity. I outlined a proposal to set up weekly company-wide meetings where employees could share their latest discoveries and accomplishments and top management could share notable business developments. My perseverance paid off – after initial resistance, I was finally given the go-ahead to organize these meetings on a trial basis.
The weekly meetings I organized became an instant success. Employees found an easy platform to showcase their contributions. They developed deeper understanding of other business functions. This in turn promoted closer coordination among teams in solving customer issues. Ideas poured in from unexpected quarters enhancing the pace of R&D. Knowledge of business performance piqued interest in the overall health of the company. Employees felt empowered and valued, and brought in renewed vigor to the workplace. From an information-scarce environment, my office was transformed into an information-rich environment; certainly an accomplishment I am deeply proud of.
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