It reminded me of a facilitation exercise called “Puzzlers & Peeves” that, with management’s support, you can do with small groups of employees or in staff meetings. Here’s how it works:
- Ask the group to quickly identify what they think are the 4-5 biggest challenges facing the company (the “puzzlers”).
- Repeat the process with what they think are the 4-5 most irksome or irritating aspects of the company’s operations (the “peeves”).
- Combine the two lists and select the top 3-4 items that need to be addressed. (In my experience, at this point it’s best to acknowledge everyone’s limited time & resources and that it’s unrealistic to attempt the entire list. So the group will need to get consensus on which items they most want to tackle.)
- Follow up with an action plan for each and go at ‘em.
It’s a great way to focus staff on dealing with the issues and can be effective in turning gripe sessions into positive action.