Thursday, March 22, 2012

Here's text of Corporate's new employee survey

A reader has provided the text to an online survey Corporate is now asking employees to complete. Assuming I've copied and pasted correctly, the questions appear below, starting with the introduction.

Please note the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements. If you feel you are not in a position to make a judgment about any statements, please select the "I don't know/ Not applicable" option.
  1. We will have to enter new businesses / make new investments to continue to be successful
  2. We will have to improve the overall quality and relevance of our content
  3. We will have to improve operations / cost-effectiveness across business units
  4. We will have to enhance our capabilities as a provider of local marketing products and services
  5. We will have to find the most effective way for consumers to pay for content (i.e. new content subscription models)
  6. Gannett has a clear growth strategy that is understood by employees
  7. The transformation initiatives underway adequately address the business challenges facing the company
  8. The Gannett Management Committee recognizes that Gannett needs to fundamentally change the way we operate to achieve future growth
  9. The Gannett Management Committee shares a clear and explicit vision for the transformation
  10. People within my division recognize that we need to change the way we operate to ensure our future success
  11. My supervisor shares a clear and explicit vision for the transformation
  12. I clearly understand the overall strategy of Gannett's transformation
  13. Our consumers (e.g. readers, viewers) believe that Gannett needs to undergo significant change in order to better meet their needs
  14. Our business customers (e.g. advertisers) believe that Gannett needs to undergo significant change in order to better meet their needs
  15. I believe the transformation will deliver sustainable performance improvement and profitability for Gannett
  16. I believe the transformation will lead to long-term growth for Gannett
  17. We will be seen as the market leader in the media industry with this transformation 
  18. The Gannett Management Committee will ensure obstacles to executing the transformation are removed
  19. This commitment will receive the active support of middle and senior managers
  20. The appropriate people will be deployed to the transformation effort – versus those resources that are simply available
  21. Workload will be rebalanced to reflect the additional burden associated with the transformation
  22. We have a good track record in executing major projects
  23. We have the necessary skills in my area to deliver the required changes and execute the transformation
  24. I am confident I will receive the support I need from my manager to implement the required changes for the transformation
  25. We are making moves to change our culture to support the open, two-way communication necessary to make the change happen
  26. We will not lose the initial momentum on the transformation – we will carry on until we feel that the transformation is a success
  27. Our consumers (e.g. readers, viewers) believe that we will be able to successfully execute the transformation
  28. Our business customers (e.g. advertisers) believe that we will be able to successfully execute the transformation

67 comments:

  1. A question for you:

    In the text I received, it appears the survey assumes widespread knowledge of the Gannett Management Committee and its responsibilities.

    Did the survey define that committee? Without following the link I provided above, do you know the committee's membership and general duties?

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  2. sub "relevance" for "responsibilities" ....

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  3. Wonder why the distinction between readers/viewers, who are twice referred to as "consumers" and advertisers, who are called "business customers."

    One thing for sure: there is no implied relationship with consumers.

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  4. Inspired. More kool-aid, please....

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  5. And I thought management could not further stray from reality. What a load of bullshit.

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  6. No, it did not explain who they were. I just visualized everyone from the post-investor meeting dog and pony show.

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  7. No and no. All my managers convey are orders to cover their butts.

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  8. Who the fuck designed these questionnaires?

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  9. typo. 18 and 19 meant to say YOU will be removed.

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  10. I wonder how the burden will be shared at USA today when actual 1st Q results come out? Certainly not those who aren't doing the work now. I know of a dozen editors and twice as many reporters who do little more than shuffle papers and write important emails all day. Digital? Even more dead weight. We could out source their work to India.


    And speaking of people who seem not to do anything, what about the digital and verticals "executives"?

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  11. Regarding question No. 9, in 2-3 sentences, please describe the "transformation," and how Gannett is trying to accomplish it.

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  12. Re #20. Do you smell reapplying for jobs? Sure sounds like it. Who thinks Gannett is capable of a "transformation" that would seriously give our readers what they want to read or a product that our advertisers really want to spend their money on. The big G bigwigs are so full of themselves.

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  13. OK. This is not about journalism or "readers". GCI hopes to be an ad network. Readers don't generate revenue. "Clicks" and page views generate revenue. Amish ovens - whatever. You may be pure of heart. But advertising is cash. This is what they're trying - and failing to be. Love it - or move on. You've seen the future... Just don't deny it exists. Anyway - where's Rudd? It's his strategy.

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  14. This is one of those clever
    reverse psychology things that makes you believe you are part of the decision making process , when you are not . Management is actually laughing at you thinking about the answers.

    They are just trying to brainwash you with their ideas which still lead to lay-offs in the end .

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  15. Actually, this seems like a good mood survey, finding out if your bosses are showing any signs of doing what is expected of them.
    I'm betting that geographic trends in the survey could help them decide if leadership is doing needed work.

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  16. The way the preamble of the survey is crafted and the combination of questions and IP address makes it possible to narrow the identity of the person down to a specific supervisor, even down the employee. So the choice is be truthful and have it filed away for future ambush at layoff time, or answer the questions exactly the way it's clear they want them to be answered. I'd like for my paychecks to continue awhile longer. Let the beatings continue, please.

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  17. George Orwell3/22/2012 9:58 PM

    I repeat my question from the previous day, who is REALLY going to fill this out with any honest and candor, without fearing reprisal? I don't trust these people in corporate any further than I can throw a truck.

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    Replies
    1. Don't be such a drama queen

      Delete
  18. I filled it out honestly and just went off. The small chance that they are completely lying about anonymity and it will come back on me was far outweighed by the satisfaction of telling them how it really is among the rank and file when they ask us to be candid. People cowering in fear at every chance to speak their minds only allows the suits to continue their blissful ignorance. All you people who won't even complain when they invite to, is your paycheck worth that much self respect?

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear this. I too answered as honestly as I could.

      I did say I was unclear of who was on the Gannett Management committee.

      Delete
  19. Jim, it's all about digital. That's the transformation. All hands are on the digital deck.

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  20. We have corporate person and a marketing firm calling in sales reps to ask them about their managers and VPS and who they think is a good or bad manager and or VP and why plus tons of other questions. They have been at our site all week.

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    Replies
    1. Nancy Solliday and the Winthrop Group? They are making their way across Gannett.

      Delete
  21. I think 9:04 has it about right: "GCI hopes to be an ad network."

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  22. Young Gannett employee here. Should I answer these honestly or as they want to hear? Can I get kickback from being honest?

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    Replies
    1. Respectfully, you have a lot to learn. They would love to have you vomit up their line of bullshit. And, it is all bullshit. As you will learn (the hard way) Gannett doesn't give a shot about you or anyone else.

      Delete
  23. Answer the questions. Be honest. Don't be foolish and unnecessarily inflamatory. But answer the questions directly. That's what I did. If that gets me fired, I can live with it. Sure, the questions are dumb and off point. But they deserve to hear from the trenches, even though they won't like it.

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  24. your a pussy if you dont tell it the way it is, you are so beat down you are afraid to express your concerns for the company,,,,what a bunch of cowards

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  25. Are you really so naive to believe that if you answer the survey honestly and say something negative that there be no "kickback" as you say?

    Freedom of speech at Gannett is selective. They select when you have the capability and privilege. And for all the IT people on here who say they cannot trace your survey, you are full of you know what. The last survey I was one of the very last people to complete it and I kept getting emails asking me to do so. If it was sent out as a general message and not trackable, it certainly tracked it to my computer.

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  26. What a ridiculous survey. 28 questions, really? Should be half that number.

    There should be one survey for managers, one for journalists and yet another for people in support operations (IT, pressroom, circ, etc).

    What a weak-minded survey with its passive-aggressive tone and lame ass "messaging" to the staff.

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  27. I was with the company nearly 15 and not once did I understand Gannett's goals nor were they outlined for me. Yes, the big goal was making money, but in recent years no one ever outlined the goals of print vs. online and why and where we needed to go with that.
    I always felt that outside of profit, the company had no real vision for the future and that accelerated with McCorkindale and then landed like a turd at a cocktail party with Dubrow.

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  28. No. 26 is an absolute joke. 26.

    "We will not lose the initial momentum on the transformation – we will carry on until we feel that the transformation is a success."

    Um, News2000, Real Life, Real News, Local Information Center, All-American contests, target young people, target old people, target minorities (OK, that's still going on).

    So, where are all these great ideas now? On the scrap heap, because the initial momentum got lost. And why did the initial momentum get lost? Because these ideas were horrible to begin with.

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  29. Heres how you truly transform if you want to cut costs and boost profitability while improving the quality and quantity of content.

    Get rid of all unnecessary managers who don't edit or process content.
    Get rid of digital people whose only tasks are technical and cannot make sound editorial decisions due to a lack of experience.
    Train the older, actual journalists to be technically capable all thing digital so posting/processing becomes second nature.

    This brings you speed to market by removing layers of bureaucratic, needless management. It keeps more experienced content providers in place, sustaining breadth of experience on a national level at USA Today and locally for that Hometown Advantage. And it substantially lowers editorial costs.

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  30. Carrying on is not a management practice I've ever heard of. And is success based on how "management feels" a true measure of actual success? Whats next? Management mood rings?

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  31. Consider that GCI's first digital offering, USA TODAY Update, launched in 1984. Seems late in the day to fret about losing momentum.

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  32. One has to wonder which genius came up with this survey, which will undoubtedly result in many field trips to the Gannett frontier to reiterate ill conceived, half baked plans divorced from reality.Because, of course, the rank and file doesn't buy into a transformation plan no one has actually articulated.

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  33. Tell everyone in USA today's sports department how reapplying for their jobs is transformative. Tom Beusse never told us.

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  34. Sad thing is, there are still a few people left in McLean who know how to write and analyze surveys properly. Far fewer than there were previously, but enough to ensure that this pile of poo did not see the light of day.

    If, of course, someone had bothered to ask them.

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  35. This provoked another eye-rolling session at my site but not much attempt at analysis. The takeaway among rank-and-file reporters: Corporate doesn't care what we think and will do whatever it wants. We're prepared for some form of bad news in the next two to four weeks (although we have nothing solid on which to base this feeling). On a positive note, reporters are using the iPhones effectively for breaking news, but cell service provider (Sprint) sucks in terms of signal strength and availability in our market.

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  36. 9:55 PM "The way the preamble of the survey is crafted and the combination of questions and IP address makes it possible to narrow the identity of the person down to a specific supervisor, even down the employee."

    Seriously, I know things are bad at Gannett but please take a few minutes to understand how technology works before spouting off such uninformed nonsense.

    All Gannett traffic comes from the same IP at each location. There is no way to link individual users to a survey response.

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  37. USA today is in a huge financial bind. Swelling payroll costs, declining ad base and circulation sagging again. Shakeup is coming beyond Sports. Senior staff meetings will be called before end of first quarter to address the situation. Lots of thing on the table, but more conjecture than concrete plans until Hunke gets approval from Gracia. But all the bs about improving the product is just lip service. Digital will get more power, but it's people have none of the intellectual depth to improve prove the product beyond cosmetics.. Think of multiple Sarah Palins as HBO portrays her in Game Change.

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  38. So do these get fed directly into the shredder? I'm more than certain nothing will come of the results, so why even bother?

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  39. I was brutally honest....let them fire me.

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  40. Hmmm...never got the survey in Appleton. So I'll just consider it an ominous sign.

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  41. Survey only went out to active payroll as of the beginning of Q2.

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  42. 11:35, I've been on the active payroll for 15+ years.

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  43. I answered the survey questions suspecting that the code embedded in the email would make it possible to trace my answers back to me. I answered because I think it's important that Martore and others in the Crystal Palace know how we (worker bees) feel. I wasn't snarky or disrespectful. I was honest. If they want to fire or punish me for that so be it.

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  44. I got the survey in Appleton, and a followup yesterday reminding me to fill it out. Trouble is, we're too busy to take the time for a survey.

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  45. I got the survey but saw the word "leadership" and couldn't stop laughing. I hit delete key and went back to work on something more productive.

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  46. I'd make a copy of your answers, just in case.....
    It read like something you would recite at Catholic Church.

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  47. 12:32 - Q2 starts next Monday - maybe you aren't on the active payroll then.

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  48. Isn't having BCG do the survey a conflict of interest (at least gives the appearance)?

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  49. I'm curious if people answered this on company time or their own. Before I was downsized back in June, there was no way I could take the time to do this while on the clock due to the dozens of daily mandates that had to be met.

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  50. Im giving a speech on company time, so ill have to do the survey On The Road. Just call me Charles Kuralt.

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  51. 9:36 AM. Your asinine response actually proved the writer's point. IP address identifies the site. The combination of years worked, level within organization and department make it obvious in any department smaller than 30 employees who the respondent is. If you're answering outside the Gannett network, then IP is what the company uses in its web metrics for determining approximate location. So either way they know what city you're responding from. So what was that you said about understanding how technology works? Time to put your typewriter-thingy-with-a-screen away

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  52. Actually, 9:36, 7:29 and 9:55, the response from 1:09 p.m. is closer to the truth. If you look at the SurveyMonkey FAQs, they list all sorts of ways for a survey to appear anonymous but allow for tracking of respondents. Search under "How can I track the names and emails of respondents." Also see in the FAQs that the default is to collect IP addresses and client email address. Look at the source under the page and see how many encrypted hidden fields they're using. 7:29 is also correct. One of their suggestions is leading questions that narrow the identity of the respondent. So, 9:36, you just go right ahead with your myth of anonymity.

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  53. Thank you, 7:55. I've administered Survey Monkey on behalf of my non-Gannett company. Believe me, I know who responded and their comments.

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  54. So much fear.

    Sad.

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  55. at this point we are on a sinking ship. people need to speak up so we can find a way to plug this bitch before we are all under water

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  56. Just getting back to this blog after enjoying life post -Garnett.
    Question: was dubow ever forced to operationalize or define transformation?

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  57. Being someone who knows how firewalls work, and someone who knows how SurveyMonkey works, I have to agree with 9:36. Further I can say hat 7:55 and 7:58 not only appear to be the same person, but also have no idea what he or she is talking about. Just an attempt to spread misinformation to those who dont know better.

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  58. Guess again 2:39, or should I say 9:26. And it's clear you don't know how either work because you choose not to read what is posted right in SurveyMonkey FAQ. But you just keep on shoveling it for the company. Instead of going to buy yourself a clue, send Jim a contribution instead.

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  59. 2:39 here, and no, I'm not 9:36. People complain all the time about corporate shills coming on here to try to discredit others or Jim. Yet you have no problem doing the same thing in reverse by spreading misinformation. Why the hypocrisy?

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  60. They enjoy spreading misinformation. They don't have to take responsibility for it, and Jim doesn't call them on it.

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  61. Paranoia will destroy ya.

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  62. And here I was thinking that big companies were starting to have some common sense :\

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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