Technology firm encourages frank talk among staff

Most employees would welcome the chance to point out their colleagues’
failings or say what they really think of bosses face-to-face – but few ever
get the chance.

However, a new scheme at technology firm Intentia is doing just that,
encouraging the firm’s management team to talk frankly about each others’
strengths and weaknesses.

The high-tech Swedish firm introduced the programme to help managers learn
more about themselves and develop deeper skills. It now intends to extend the
initiative to all staff.

"If people have issues with the way an individual works, then our
customers probably do too, so it’s essential we get it out in the open,"
explained HR director Debbie McCallion.

Ten managers were asked to evaluate each others’ skills, using a system
called SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). The HR team
analysed the results and compiled a list of each manager’s best and worst
skills. The group then talked about each individual in turn, highlighting their
weaknesses face-to-face. At the end of the course, each manager was given
objectives to try to improve.

The company is now planning to extend a similar scheme to all its employees,
in the hope that straight talking will improve the way teams work together.

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