When working in an office scenario, traditional education dictates leadership never shows weakness. Managers and the Leadership team overall fear no evil and destroy all negativity. In reality, your boss potentially cries from the stress of meeting the demands of the executive team or shareholders. Stack that with the fact that they are told to keep their team in the dark… Lonely and stressed. Self destructing internally, certain managers break under the pressure and take it out on their team or leave the organization all together. What about the other end? Organizations making decisions from the top down shows employees no trust is given to them leading to little trust given back to the organization. This disconnect shows in most organizations today. There must be a better way to handle this! Shocker, there may just be!
The Process to Survival
We are human and based on what you believe, we are animals. Go even further, and we are considered Social Animals. Although there is nothing special in that fact, we have the opportunity to utilize different types of relationships. Take your job for example. The average work week for Americans plants itself on the 40 hour mark. We call this “full time”. Over the course of 5 days, we spend 8 hours of each day with the same people. With 24 hours in the day, we spend one third of it with these people. The strange part is the lack of the deep connections we create even though so much time is spent there. The picture I am painting is simple: The most stressful part of our day and spending it with people that you do not know at a deep enough level to communicate with openly makes no sense. It might be time to change that paradigm for the process of creating a healthy work environment.
Some Steps in the Right Direction
Talk to each other. Some or most of this has to be initiated by the team leader or manager. Most employees won’t know what is okay to do when it comes to communication with leadership. Step 1 as the team lead, talk to your team as a group and let them know your intentions to create an open door policy where anything can be discussed. The next step is taking each person out for a one on one conversation. Find out what their goals are for their time in the organization. Understand why they are working hard or not giving as much effort as you hoped. By the knowing the goals they have, that gives you more of an ability to help them with their goals therefore giving them more reasons to stay. Finally, execute. Whatever they talk and ask of you, move into action. Some request won’t be achieved but find out why. Other requests do have the potential to be resolved and showing the team progress makes them believe they have a voice. Bonus Step, show weakness. Tell the team when things are not going as well. If you are in an organization that says not to do this, get out of there. The team not knowing when numbers are bad gives them no context for understanding why the entire leadership team is stressed. Being vulnerable is tough for a team lead but being in the dark on the team can be much worse.
As the work relationship terrain changes, we must realize that human connection drives happiness and morale in the work place. From their, all boats rise. Customer Satisfaction goes up, Turnover goes down, and business will grow.
Helping Managers assist their employees in finding their why, creating a path to achieve that why, and keeping them on that path.