Jun 12, 2017 · 4 min read

Executives today have increasing amounts of data on their organizations. They can conduct Engagement surveys, Cultural reviews, Team Dynamics analysis, Personality tests, Psycho-analytical assessments, Behavioral models, and good ol’ fashioned data mining of HR data and Social media, just to name a few tools in the marketplace.

While each of these tools are all useful in their own ways, none of them help executives creates a cohesive organizational strategy. They instead, often provide disparate, and sometimes contradictory, views on their organization, leaving managers no better-off than before the analyses were completed. The team members meanwhile grow increasingly frustrated that their voices are not being heard, despite answering every question asked by management and providing honest feedback. This growing rift between teams and executives often lead to deep symptomatic issues within organizations, such as the ones highlighted below:

So, how do you break this cycle?

Executives need a ‘frame of reference’ and organizational context for all the data they gather and seek to consume. Understanding employee relationships allows leaders a rare view into the ‘Inner Workings’ of the team while also providing them with the right organizational context and framework. This context allows leaders to then develop a cohesive and actionable strategy to leverage employee and team strengths while addressing any gaps and vulnerabilities within the organization.

A Brief Case In Point:

Currently, when companies conduct Engagement surveys or Team Dynamics studies, they recieve feedback such as: 62% of the employees agree with statement: “My manager is out of touch with my concerns.” while 55% of the employees disagree with the statement: “I trust my manager with personal and work-related problems”. While this provides executives with useful information that their managers need to work on trust and communication, the anonymous nature of such surveys prevents leaders from learning more on the “WHY”, the “WHERE”, and the “HOW” for these issues. In addition, companies typically perform multiple types of surveys and studies throughout the year, each of which provides a different perspective, yet often times with varying degree of detail and specific actionable results. Leaders also can not discern whether an issue articulated in these surveys are, in fact, urgent and relevant issues or are they largely a perception gap with a minority of team members, the so-called ‘squeaky wheels’.

Potential Actionable Results: Vague directives for everyone in the Management Team to focus on low ranked areas, such as building trust and increasing communications.

Alternative Scenario:

Understanding Employee Relationships can provide executives with the relevant context on this feedback from the employees, and turn this same data into strategic actions.

Employee relationships will show, for example:

  • That the employees felt ‘out-of-touch’ with management since no one from the management team socializes with the rank-and-file employees, instead choosing to socialize with peers.
  • In addition, Trust networks reveal that most of their teams do have leaders who are trusted, however, the largest team is very hub-dependent, and rely on just 1 key mid-level team member, who in turn trusts other junior team members, and does not have trust connections to senior management. This dependency can skew perception for the team, which is compounded by the social disconnect from senior management.

Potential Actionable Results AFTER Employee Relationship Analysis:

  1. Establish social team rituals that involve all layers of management — Management and other leaders are expected to proactively attend, organize, and facilitate these rituals (Pizza Fridays, Bagel Tuesdays, round of drinks after work on Friday, etc.), to ensure employees see such efforts as genuine and sustainable. Such rituals build social connections, the foundation for good trust relationships in the long-run.
  2. Focus on the communications between largest team and management to ensure the team recieves honest, fair, and transparent updates, feedback & evaluations. Consider additional transparency into management decision making process via town halls or skip-level breakfast or lunch meetings.
  3. Leverage the influential Trust Hub in place currently in the largest team by ensuring they are involved in all social rituals and part of any communication efforts.

Find out More:

To learn more about how the innovative new process of Employee Relationship Analysis and how it will help you develop a cohesive and comprehensive organizational strategy, please visit, or email


Unlock. Uncover. Unleash the power of your teams


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Bridging the Information Gap between Leaders and Team


Unlock. Uncover. Unleash the power of your teams

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