There’s been a lot of chatter lately about giving employees space to do their best work. Just last year, Inc. published an article entitled The Compelling Case For Giving Employees More Freedom. Who ever heard of such nonsense? Apparently the featured company grew from 2,000 to over 10,000 employees in one year. If you ask me, that type of rapid growth is a disaster waiting to happen.
Other business writers have been recommending outlandish ideas on increasing accountability. Harvard Business Review published this piece entitled The Best Teams Hold Themselves Accountable. Okay HBR, what’s next? Employees who work from home?
These new methods for fostering employee productivity and accountability are just fads. Nothing drives accountability on teams like constant supervision, but who has time these days to stand over employees and tell them how you would do it better?
Can you imagine a world where all employers view their employees as whole human beings who desire meaning and purpose in their personal and professional lives? It turns out that employee-focused management creates the most productive and sustainably engaged employees, which in-turn creates more profitable businesses.
This month’s roundup of articles explores a shift in perspective — refocusing the lens to see employees as full-spectrum humans, and managers as people who support their growth and well-being. Employees in this brave new world not only excel at their work and grow more loyal to the company, but also have the space to discover fulfillment in every aspect of their lives.
See Full Infographic Below
What do your employees really want; a shiny new ping pong table and catered lunches or can you make them happy with the basic “benefit” of providing honest feedback?
A recent survey of 1,000 full-time employees across the US found 81% of workers would rather join a company that values “open communication” than one that offers great perks such as top health plans, free food, and gym memberships. Yet only 15% of employees surveyed said their current companies were doing a “very good” job fostering honesty at the office.
The term “human resources” is paradoxical at best. Humans are living beings of arguably the highest order. They have complex emotional, physical, and mental systems that must be understood and nurtured in order to facilitate their self-actualization. Resources on the other hand are valuable company assets that must be maintained, catalogued, and put to use in a way that proves their worth or they are quickly replaced.
Our profit-focused paradigm is facing a crisis, because management tends to focus on the resource, not on the human. People come with aspects of self that are incompatible with traditional command and control management styles – personal and professional desires like creating interpersonal relationships, and achieving one’s potential. So how is management shifting to meet the demands of the modern workforce?
What is the most important factor that drives business success? Sales and marketing strategy? Bringing your product to market at the right time? No, the answer is far more subtle and counter-intuitive and permeates all aspects of an organization. The answer is company culture.
Are people fixed in terms of their abilities or can they grow into virtually unlimited potential? Is an employee just a replaceable resource, or a whole human being complete with emotional, physical, mental and spiritual experiences?
Today’s best managers believe that their employees are more than just fixed assets. They have shifted away from the role of commanding boss to supportive coach, by creating space for employees to live great lives and do great work. As a result, employees become self-motivated, bring higher energy into the office, grow in their roles and lives, and become more loyal to the company.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let the research speak for itself…
The 2014 Employee Engagement Gallup Poll is in and…drum roll please…engagement is on the rise! 31.5%, the highest since 2000. But engagement is still sorely lacking— especially among millennials.
The younger generations are less-than-enthused at the workplace. One explanation could be that when people are given tasks that do not tap into their talents and strengths, that increases the likelihood that they will continue to be disengaged. So what would the impact be if managers built relationships with their employees, listened to them, discovered their personal and professional goals, and helped them to become their greatest selves?
Tony Schwartz is the CEO and founder of The Energy Project and bestselling author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, published in 2010.
Last month, a midlevel employee at a company I work with got on a plane at his own expense, prompted by a decision that he felt had not been fair to one of his colleagues, and flew several thousand miles across the ocean to discuss the situation directly with his supervisor.
That’s how much he cared — about his colleague, about doing the right thing and about the values he wanted his company to uphold. His boss could have been defensive. Instead, to his credit, he was moved by this younger employee’s passion.
Communication is an art-form. Sometimes it’s a masterpiece by Picasso and sometimes it’s a finger-painting. The difference depends on the tools at the artist’s disposal. And as with any artistic endeavor, crafting conversations that lead to great work relies upon a few tried and true techniques.
In this array of articles on employee feedback, we have compiled the tools necessary to engage artfully with your employees, while treating them with dignity, respecting their opinions, and honoring their humanness. Asking the right questions validates their experience and provides managers with the opportunity to respond with support, coaching, and recognition.
Employees crave feedback. So much so that they probably already read these 4 great articles. How about you?
Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Anybody can complain.
Nobody likes whining – especially in the workplace. It destroys your spirit and that of those around you. Complaining without purpose is harmful to your health, and certainly doesn’t help your chances of having enjoyable relationships with others.
Managers and co-workers quickly learn to tune out whining as a coping mechanism. Of course then you’ll complain that nobody listens. Instead of focusing on the problem, which may create more problems for you the more you vent about it, why not focus on what you want and actually strategize how to achieve your desires?
Complaining gets you nowhere, but communicating grievances properly can ultimately change everything for the better.