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Between The Top-Down and Bottom-Up Organization: The Power of Two-Way Dialogue

Steven Green
by Steven Green on February 15, 2019

Between The Top-Down and Bottom-Up Organization: The Power of Two-Way Dialogue

 There’s a spirited debate between business strategists: can a company survive today’s Glass Door-reviewed, Youtube-recommended, five-star ranked marketplace with a traditional top-down organizational structure or does it need to go bottom up?

At the heart of the argument is this fact: customer experience improves when a company’s employees are actively engaged at work. And bottom-up companies like Zappos, Valve and W.L. Gore are known for having higher levels of engagement among their workforce than traditional top-down companies.

Markets Are Conversations

Twenty years ago a group of internet pioneers published a treatise they called “The Cluetrain Manifesto.” The premise was that central to every sales transaction was a conversation. Despite decades of one-way push-messaging via print, radio and television, the customer has always had the upper hand by choosing whether or not to complete the purchase.

Now that social media makes it easy for customers to talk with each other about the brands they love or hate, companies are finding that they need to take the conversation more seriously. If your product or service only gets three stars when your competitor gets four and half, you need to get busy or your market share is going to fall over the cliff.

Information Architect Oliver Reichenstein put it this way:

Once companies realize that they’re more trustworthy, more competitive, more profitable, if they integrate their customers into the production cycle and openly communicate with them instead of streaming glossy marketing phrases, the old egomaniac business structures will fall like dominoes.

Learning From Your Employees

One of the big advantages of bottom-up organizations is that decision-makers are closer to the customers than in a hierarchical Learning from your Employeescompany. That’s because every employee is a decision-maker. This means that the organization can respond more quickly to customer concerns. Customers like these companies and will steer their friends in the same direction.

Top-down companies have a dilemma. Their market share is getting nibbled away by smaller, more nimble businesses. Executives in big organizations are too often out of touch with critical issues in the supply chain to react quickly or appropriately. But making a transition toward a flatter organizational structure is a daunting, if not near-impossible task.

The good news here is that listening to and learning from your employees doesn’t require massive organizational change. You simply need an open channel for two-way dialogue.

 

The Magic of the Feedback Loop

Imagine what it would be like if every employee could have a thermostat on his or her desk that could be adjusted to keep work humming along with just the right combination of challenge, opportunity and flow. When you implement conversational feedback in the workplace you are in effect giving employees more control over their work environment, increasing engagement and productivity in the process.

Feedback loops are effective motivators when workers have a platform to give input and then are assured in a timely manner that they have been heard. Employees don’t expect the business to cater to their every whim, but they do want their concerns to be taken seriously.

 

Tools for Building Dialogue

At TemboSocial we have learned any organization can benefit from engaging employees in two-way dialogue. We’ve also been able to develop tools to help make this dialogue easy to start, manage and maintain.

TemboSocial Feedback lets you start a conversation with your workforce using polls, surveys, quizzes and input forms. We use built-in logic to deliver the appropriate questions to specific groups in you business, making these conversations customizable and highly relevant to employee concerns.

Asking questions is only half of the process. TemboSocial Feedback has integrated tools that make it easy for you to evaluate responses and complete the feedback loop by delivering a response of your own. And it all works inside your current communications platform.

 

Enterprise Ready Social Feedback

TemboSocial works with global organizations and reaches more than 1,000,000 employees each day. Make your transition from monologue to dialogue by collecting and responding to employee feedback. Our enterprise ready tools are easy to install, easy to manage and are designed to work inside your current communication network.

Click here to learn more about TemboSocial Feedback and how it can improve employee experience.

Steven Green
Written by Steven Green

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