What If Your Water Cooler Could Talk?

This article first appeared in The Journal for Quality and Participation, Fall 2002.

By Peter W. Lilienthal

When management demonstrates that employee feedback is genuinely valued, both retention and productivity show marked increases.

It’s a fact. Employees congregate around water coolers. And when they do, they chat about what’s on their minds. Some conversations are about personal lives. But often, much of the discussion is about what’s going on in the workplace. If management could capture its company-related water cooler talk, what comments, suggestions and gripes might it hear?

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