The Value of Round Table Discussions


The power of round table discussions dan cockerellBefore speaking to the executive team, I like to spend time with frontline employees.

If you want to find out what’s going on in a company and what people are thinking, you have to talk with the people who are on the frontline interacting with your customers.

In this episode, I share how we have roundtable discussions with the frontline employees. We start with an icebreaker and explain why we’re there. We give them a list of questions to answer individually on post-it notes. They have 10-15 minutes to answer 5 questions and we do 3 rounds of this. Afterward, we read the responses, ask additional questions, and have a discussion to learn more. It sometimes takes time for people to start speaking up but it’s always great feedback.

If you do a roundtable discussion, you have to be ready to act. The worst thing you can do is have one of these sessions where people open up but you do nothing about it. This is worse than never asking at all.

We ask questions in these areas: culture, processes, and leadership

Something to remember is that if you don’t fix the employee experience first, you’re never going to get to the customer experience.

In the long run, it’s best for companies to facilitate their own roundtable discussions and get to a point where it’s normal among their culture. However, if you don’t know how to facilitate these it can be beneficial to bring someone from the outside for the first few to get you started.

The solution to almost every business problem you have can be found by talking with your employees and customers.