Thursday, April 17, 2008

Communication

I have written before about my problems with Orange and British Gas. Yesterday I encountered some (minor) problems with EDF energy. After some discussion with customer services I hope that they are now sorted, but given that I thought that about British Gas and it took another six months to rectify the problem, I am not holding my breath. I therefore felt for Rachel when I read about her problems regarding her kitchen and judging from her comments box she is not alone.

It seems to me that one of the errors that these companies are making is in a lack of communication. Perhaps in an effort to cut costs or perhaps because they just don't think about it, they fail to communicate accurately and mistakes get repeated ad infinitum. I was expounding this theory to M when we sat down to watch the Apprentice last night whilst eating our supper. Now, I hope that all of those candidates have secure jobs to return to in the event they don't win because quite frankly I would be unwilling to employ any of them based on their performances on the show (which I am aware is edited and produced). As far as I could tell, the candidates basic problem seems to be that they are so obsessed with 'winning' and doing each other down that they seem unable to get on with the task in hand, even going so far as to sabotage their team performance in the hope of getting each other fired. The other main problem seems to come back to communication, or lack of it. Yesterday's show involved taking photographs of people and then selling them said photographs. Hardly a difficult task I would have thought seeing as there seemed to be people queuing up to be snapped. Both teams problems lay in their in-ability to produce the photographs. No-one had designed a fail safe system of recording whose photos were which; instead of helping each other with technical failures there was simply shouting and there seemed to be no communication whatsoever between the front and back line teams.

In short it was a complete shambles and the winning team made less than £200 profit. The losing team made a loss. I am sure that if both teams had focused on getting their job done rather than the fact that one of them would lose their job they would have all turned a far higher profit. Incidentally, if I had been managing either of those teams, I would have ensured that as manager I was the link between the two teams and would have moved people as and when it became clear that there were difficulties, i.e. when production had ground to a halt.

1 comment:

Lain said...

Wednesday's episode of The Apprentice made me furious. The point they all seem to be missing is that to ensure their own safety/immunity into the next round all they need to do is pull together as a team, because it is only the losing team that sees someone fired.

But no, they all have to be egotistical jumped-up self-centred bullies who take pleasure in sniping at, undermining and overruling those weaker than them.

Interestingly, Wednesday's boardroom was the first time in a long time that both Nick and Margaret have had to intervene to pull the candidates up on their misrepresentation of a situation. At the moment I cannot see a clear or worthy winner. My money is on Raef as he seems furthest away from the nastiness, although his upper class background may count against him... Either way, Claire has to go next week. As a victim of workplace bullying I know how hard it is for everyone to work with someone who is dead set on tearing a team apart.