I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and, for those of you in the US, that you enjoyed the 4th of July holiday!
This celebration of independence started me thinking about revolution and the changes that happen when people have a common drive. During both revolution and evolution, disruption is the goal and often leads to warring factions, but it doesn’t have to.
Both can also be an opportunity to create deeper understanding and stronger teams.
That opportunity is ripe for the taking right now and could benefit your business for many years to come. Let me explain.
Daily reporting related to the job market and employee attitudes tells us inevitable change is on the horizon. We cannot dismiss the fact that the working base wants a different model for their workweek and how they perform work. Beyond that, the level of anxiety surrounding returning to the office is off the charts.
Primary drivers for both the anxiety and the desire for change include:
- Unclear expectations for performance
- Outdated job descriptions and gates of responsibility
- Deep concern about shifting priorities and organizational goals
- Strong desire for a different type of work-life balance
- Ability to participate in crafting improved employee policies
We’ve entered the ‘sweet spot’ between evolution and revolution, and the 2 key activities that will make the difference are listening and taking action.
LISTENING: You don’t need expert guidance or an outside consultant to determine what your staff or your teams need. You can do this through any number of highly effective leadership activities.
- Create a blind survey
- Hold 1x1 interviews
- Lead a brainstorming session
- Ask for feedback in an online portal
Any one of these activities will let your team know you want to mine solutions that fit their needs and those of the company. By undertaking these activities, you demonstrate that you are problem aware and invested in your greatest asset – your people.
TAKING ACTION: The next step is the most important. You MUST take the feedback and use it to create change. This does not mean every comment and every suggestion has equal merit, but it does mean you follow up with policy and process updates that reflect the intentions and honor the ideas. The steps you take should be deliberate, documented, and made public.
Some steps include:
- Synthesize the suggestions in a report and distribute with commentary that this is your understanding of the current and future states
- Establish a team with representatives from every level of the organization to help you craft mutually agreeable solutions and compromises
- Provide review and implementation dates to tie outcomes to expectations
- Distribute the final plan alongside updated policies that your staff can review, along with a message of gratitude for collaborating on solutions
- Update your organization-wide documents to reflect these changes
Working in good faith now will ensure your teams participate in the return to work process, have clarity around what is expected, understand what is important to the organization, and most importantly, demonstrate they play a vital role in successful outcomes. It shows you invest in them, and they can feel confident investing in the business, now and into the future.
Cheers to an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, Q3 2021!
If you need help mapping out what this process should look like for your business or implementing this strategy, I’m happy to discuss the process with you.
If you’d like professional guidance to take this activity off of your plate, please schedule a call, and we can dive deeper.