I spent the first 30 days talking to every person in the region, one on one. I asked the same questions of each of the 70 employees who were doing the work.
- What do you like about working here?
- What frustrates you about this company?
- What frustrates customers about this company?
- What are you hoping I will change?
- What would you change if you were a manager?
I took notes and looked for patterns, themes and trends. Most people are polite and offer something helpful but toe the line. With many, I get the sense they are holding back, not fully trusting me yet. They might be concerned about repercussions from their direct manager.
I approach every new team this way and typically get 80% of the best ideas from 20% of the team. This 80/20 rule applies to just about everything in business.