Let´s face it, it is 2017. Todays employees are a whole new breed of people. Regardless of age group, profession or education level. As a top management team or c-level executive, we have to realize that we are dealing with a group of individuals that have altered their views on how business management should be done, and moreover, how it should be communicated. To them.
Clearly, with the rise of the silicon valley billion dollar companies with thirty-something CEOs – amongst them Tesla, Google, Facebook, Uber and for that matter, Apple – employees on all levels suddenly have reference points of how others are conducting employee management. And these reference points create benchmarks that you may not be ready for.
Googles fun offices and incentive programs, Zappos unique experience management, Facebooks “change the world” attitude and Apples innovation harvesting are all good and very unique initiatives that make employees stay and “love” the brand they are working for.
However, there is one defining factor coming back from employee responses from hundreds of brand audits we have done over the years: People want to be involved – in the greater good, the overall strategy and long-term leadership plans. Because they feel they matter. Every single one of them. Being just a number in a big equation does not cut it anymore (and has not done so since the late 90s)
Today´s employees want transparent leaders, that care. And communicate.
- They build the company knowing what their employees are able to do, what they believe in and what they want. And how they would do it.
- They created a culture of involvement, with open doors, thought exchange and arenas for personal growth.
They are 920 employees today.
A leader that shows interest in the opinions and thoughts of his or hers employees will be perceived as strong, insightful and motivating. Remember good old Steve:
3. Visible Actions & Management Communication
Top Management requires to be reported to, however very few report back.
4. Feedback Loop
Employee Satisfaction Survey or Index. Yes! Let us ask our employees, once a year, how they feel and what they think about us, their great managers. Find the red button and press it hard.
In todays fast-paced environment, where we connect, build relationships, communicate digitally and are generally expecting things to happen when we want them to happen, how can organizations let a year go by before getting feedback from their most important assets? 365 days in the life of business and people is a very long time today. If leadership does not have their eyes and ears on the very pulse of the organization, how can they possibly know what or who they are leading?
Imagine Blackberry employees when Apple launched the iPhone and they understood that their industry benchmark suddenly became a relic of history. What if Blackberry management would have waited another year to get the organizations pulse?
Enable feedback loops, beyond employee surveys and one-on-one conversations. Use the digital tools available and create an open culture for feedback, good and bad, and communicate what you are doing with it. You are already doing it with your customers service centers, why not with your employees?