Rob Abramovitz of Skutt left some great questions in the comments section of my Web 2.0 workspace entry, but I wanted to make sure that everyone had access to my response. In his comments, he mentions some work issues that he struggles with (scheduling meetings with colleagues with opposite schedules, tracking projects and tasks and linking those to good tools and then finally, he asks how to keep track of the strategic plan and how Chatter Mill can contribute to achieving the goals of this plan. My thoughts on his last two points are below:

Regarding your final two questions about strategic goals and how Chatter Mill plays a part — I think these are linked. It’s all about communicating strategy to employees and then making sure they have a way to funnel information back to you. It’s about the two-way conversation. Have you made it easy for employees to know how the company is doing on the #1 priority? A dashboard with performance metrics that is posted online or on a bulletin board is the best way to make sure employees can stay focused on the goal. Make sure it’s not too many measurements or a thick report. It’s about priorities — no one can prioritize successfully if everything in a 20-page report is a “#1 priority”.

Finally, Chatter Mill provides the channel for employees to dialogue with management about the business. First and foremost, it is a communication tool. The rating system, though, allows you to get a Snapshot read of the pulse of the organization. The reports can then help you drill down into the problem areas or even help get people past a particular area of pain so they can get focused back on strategic goals. Or even better, Chatter Mill helps illuminate employee ideas on how to meet these goals.

I return to the age-old adage that employees truly are a company’s greatest asset — if that’s true, how come we don’t listen more to what they have to say? When you do, you will see employee engagement increase, retention improve and if linked with a clearly communicated strategic plan, Chatter Mill helps employees tell you immediately and directly when something hasn’t gone according to plan (not weeks later as it makes its way slowly from the water cooler to your office). Chatter Mill isn’t a silver bullet — think of it more as a silver tongue…for your organization.