Hiding behind e-mail?
A recent survey from OfficeTeam found that senior executives have retreated behind their screens; e-mail has become the most common form of dialogue at work for 71 percent of respondents, with only 25 percent opting for either the telephone or face-to-face meetings. The staffing service fielded the same survey five years ago, at which time 48 percent of topsiders said the telephone was No. 1, with another 24 percent opting for meetings. experts (including those at OfficeTeam) note that each of these channels is the best one for certain kinds of messages and exchanges, but no one communication tool meets every need. even beyond that, the shift points to another fact with far-reaching implications: Much of the day-to-day interaction between co-workers no longer happens in real time.
Employees and strategy
Another disconcerting survey, this one from RightConsultants, finds that nearly two-thirds of all workers "do not know or understand their employer's business strategy and are not engaged in their jobs." The consultancy, of course, sells its services to enterprises that want to avoid this horrid outcome, so perhaps a grain of salt is justified. But the survey, of 336 organizations, found that 67 percent of these firms had no systems in place to communicate business strategy to their rank-and-file employees—making worker apathy or disengagement easy to understand.
Expecting poor service
And another survey, conducted by Ernan Roman Direct Marketing, tells us that 63 percent of all consumers are unhappy with their recent experiences with customer call centers. No surprise there. The eye-opener is the firm's finding that younger customers are less troubled by annoying automated systems and long wait times. "This leads to the interesting question of whether businesses are training young people to expect poor experiences," the researchers note.