After recently completing a keynote at a conference I saved time for extra Q&A on workplace challenges, changes and solutions. I love having this opportunity because it allows for a deeper dive into my presentation and the content.
“It appears bleak for organizations, tough for leaders and employees are not happy either! How do we change this, Scott”? I welcomed the question and thanked the lady who had the courage to speak up as she handed the mic to a conference coordinator. And, I composed myself for 2-3 seconds as I quickly calculated the order in which I would respond. Here’s how I replied.
“Yes, it’s true that folks can be focused on and overwhelmed by change, constant workplace ‘crap’ that appears as if it finds its way into everything we do and an organization’s goals, leadership direction and employee needs. What to do? Here’s my take.”
“We survived the last few years and that is in itself is a huge triumph. If you think back to March of 2020 and move forward to today, it is a different world. Employees and employers have seen a shift in accountability, growth in communications and a more even playing field.”
“Let me break it down. Organizations want to make money and grow. That is the nature of business. They don’t exist without you and me and our staffs. Today, more than ever in recent history, it is apparent that both worlds can exist together. In fact, statistics and research are showing that we are communicating better, growing inclusion and giving folks more reason to stay at their jobs”.
She nodded again and I continued.
“I’m an optimist. It’s who I am and it helps me sleep better at night.”
That got an audible laugh from the audience.
“I can tell you that employees and leadership are getting closer, not growing apart and the time to be proactive is now! Short meetings to discuss issues/problems addresses them and allows people to move on. Open communication on a regular basis (think how in 2020 we received more frequent updates) from top leadership gives all staff a better idea of where an organization is heading. And, positive comments and recognition can go a long way too.”
In my many interactions with folks at corporate and association events, I have the benefit of gaining important insight and knowledge from people just like us. I learned a lot, added new information to what I already knew and brought all of this to my presentations. Honesty, open communication and leaders who listen are very important to employees. And, companies that do this are going to face the future with higher retention, increased productivity and staff that recommends your workplace to others. A win-win!
The forecast looks mostly sunny, plenty of jobs are available and communication between employee and employer are stronger than they’ve been in years. Have that conversation. Share thoughts and vision. Growing and succeeding together is on the table, so make 2022 your best year yet!