UPDATE 2020: I haven't done diddly with this. Something else I was working on earlier in the summer was using up more of my attention than anticipated. I like this idea though, so shelving it for future possibilities.
I'm trying something new.
It's still in it's infancy (zygote stage is more like it) so bear with me as I want the subject matter to be as organic as possible.
I'm a management and customer service fanatic.
As such, I think almost every business gets management/customer service or both of these seriously wrong more than they get it right. A lot.
It's the biggest frustration in my life as a consumer and as a business professional.
I'm always in search of how we can make this better and may have come up with a method that could help.
My family already travels about freely as it is, so we're in a good position to do this on the road; sampling different people/businesses in different parts of the country (even the world).
I'm going to interview the people that are working on the trenches at America's businesses.
Find out what their finances are like, why they like/hate their work, what they wish their boss understood about them that maybe they don't, etc.
I think it's important that people hear from the underpaid, overworked, looked-over, and unengaged people in our society. They have voices that need to be heard and it is my aim to not only give them a voice, but help them improve their situation.
I'll give them some advice based on their SWAS interview. Then, with their approval, I'll get in touch with whoever runs the company and interview them. We'll have a candid conversation about bridging the gap between the two roles for that particular business. I'm thinking I'll approach this as a mediator or facilitator.
Every situation will be different. Some interviews may be done as a group, and some may not get very far at all for fear of reprimand or embarrassment. Though I think even those situations with dead ends will give actionable information for others to learn or take inspiration from.
Check back often. I'll probably feature entries on Twitter and LinkedIn as they are posted, so check there if this website is not part of your normal internet commute. They'll all be in the "Sit-down With A Staffer" category to make them easier to find.
If you have any suggestions or would like to be interviewed, leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Twitter if you're on there. Managers/owners are encouraged to reach out if you have the suspicion your employees aren't jiving with you or your company.
We'll come to you as a normal part of our travels as we feel this will be best performed in person...it is an extremely personal issue and deserves that kind of attention. There is no cost for staff or management to participate.
[NOTE] your privacy is important. I don't want anyone to get fired who doesn't want to be. We'll do what is necessary to get employee voices heard without revealing their identity if we have to. Please do not be afraid to reach out. It could possibly improve your work life for decades to come.