One operational issue I recognized is a lack of streamlined communication within departments. The other intern who is in my department was put on a project and had various tasks to complete. She was given directions from multiple people on the team who were all giving her different guidelines and instructions to follow. She (unknowingly) followed the instructions of someone who was not present at one of the meetings and when she presented her slides, they were practically irrelevant because of information they had discussed in the prior meeting. Because the absent employee did not know the new information, my friend went along with the wrong guidelines and wasted time and energy on the project. If the rest of the team had communicated with the missing member what they discussed, they would not have run into this issue and my friend would have produced the proper work the first time.
A possible solution to this issue might be to implement more structure within the departments in terms of communication. For example, they could send out meeting notes after a meeting is held to reiterate what was discussed, especially for anyone who is missing. Another solution is to have one team member be responsible for delegating work so there is less miscommunication and more cohesion across what the team needs from each member, especially interns. Providing more structure to this process would allow for everyone to feel more valued if everyone has the same information and no one is left in the dark. Additionally, having someone orchestrate the compilation and distribution of information would give employees another leadership role to which they aspire.
While the company culture excels in open communication and freedom to ask questions, it fails to provide enough structure where information can get lost. As I mentioned above, the employee who was out of the loop and gave the intern directions thought he was exercising open communication and discussion but he lacked the procedural structure of checking in with the rest of his team regarding the project. Thankfully, my supervisor is approachable and I would feel comfortable discussing with her what I’ve noticed thus far. Many of the employees are interested in my leadership major because it is not a widely-known major. Therefore, my supervisor is especially interested to hear what I learn about in the leadership school. I could meet with her and tell her more about what we do at Jepson; based on what we learn, I can give her insight on what I’ve noticed at Tierney and how communication, especially between superiors and subordinates, can be improved. As I mentioned in previous posts, employees respect each other’s opinions no matter their role. Therefore, I think my supervisor would be excited to know that there is something I can help Tierney do better and we can find a way to communicate that information to the rest of our department or the rest of the company.