As a manager, either high level or low level, your role is to insure that your workers are successfully and efficiently completing the tasks assigned to them. In order to do this managers must guide workers and enhance overall communication within the company. To perform their job properly managers must be aware of what is going on around them; but truthfully many are oblivious to important problems occurring that are relevant to them.
Many times managers are not on top of what is happening around them and terrible consequences can occur as a result. For instance, if the customer service manager fails to know about a particular problem that the customer service department has noticed, then the problem may go unsolved and this can lead to various problems. A prime example of this was when Dell had to recall 4.1 Million computer batteries in 2006 and this situation, without a question, could have been greatly reduced had the customer service manager been aware of the complaints the company had been receiving over and over again in real time. A more efficient and timelier analysis of the data in this situation could have ended up saving Dell a lot of money. Realistically managers should not be notified about all problems that are occurring at all times, but they should be presented with issues that might have a great impact on them, and the managers should decide from that point the importance of the issues.
In order to work to solve this knowledge gap issue there are various solutions that have been created, that can help a manager reduce or eliminate the lack of awareness that causes managers to be out of the loop. One solution that has been created is a question and answer platform. An example of a question and answer platform is SolvePath, which was created by Senexx. The instatement of this sort of a system into a business has great potential. A very helpful feature that SolvePath has is that it has the ability to keep track of the currently trending topics in the company, so workers and more importantly mangers will be presented with the main focus of discussion at any current time. This is an important feature because if something stands out on this trending list then managers will immediately know there is a particular issue with what is being discussed. Relating to the Dell case, had there been such a system in place the customer support manger would have known in real time that his department was getting calls and emails about the particular battery and that would have limited and reduced the expensive recall that ended up occurring.
Managers should be brought into the loop regarding what their employees are currently struggling with and trying to solve. The installment of various tools can help managers eliminate the knowledge gap. Real time reporting systems on trending topics should be a primary focus for managers who want to avoid situations similar to Dell’s issue and to insure the success of their team and business.