There have been many occasions where I have heard people expressing their frustrations because leadership neglects or refuses to come together and have a conversation with their employees. Employees harbor frustration, anger, and animosity and begin to care less about their job due to the lack of communication they have from their superiors. Employees feel abandoned and dismissed when leadership does not involve them in critical decisions that have a direct impact on their job, their duties, and their livelihood. Leadership needs to learn the importance and value of bringing everyone together and having a sincere, transparent, and honest conversation.
Why do companies and organizations refuse or neglect to involve regular employees in decision making? One reason is because leadership doesn’t feel it is the responsibility of the employees to be involved in certain matters. Another reason is because companies and organizations don’t want to be transparent with their employees on the “How’s” and “Why’s” of their decision making. Some companies and organizations would rather deal with people they know, rather than allow people they do not know, even though they work for them, to be involved in company or organization matters. There are many reasons for why companies and organizations refuse or neglect to involve their employees the opportunity to speak to different professional matters. I believe, however, that most of the reasons are more of a detriment to the overall health, success, and progress of the company and organization.
There is significant value in bringing everyone to the table to have real conversations about the mission, vision, and direction of a company or organization. There is a reason why unions were started. Imagine what would happen if leadership opened the door of the conference room to their employees and invited them to be a part of the decision making process for the company and organization. This doesn’t have to be a required meeting, but a meeting that is organized, placed on the calendar, and open to all employees who want to participate and be involved with the company or organization.
Imagine the value there would be when budgets were discussed with everyone in the organization. Imagine the enlightenment that might happen on both sides when everyone knows and understands where the money is coming from and where it is going. Imagine the positive changes that could be made when employees are given the opportunity to speak to how money is used and circulated throughout the organization. There is significant value in bringing in employees to listen, share, and problem solve ideas for the organization.
Not only do these meetings open the door for better understanding and communication within the organization or company, it also encourages a team centered mindset. As the saying goes, “United we stand. Divided we fall.” For a company or organization to be united, communication must be constant, open, sincere, and honest. Unity is built on trust. When communication is lacking, trust cannot be built. The idea of “team” is built on trust. Each player trusts the other players to do their job, work hard, and show up. Creating a team centered organization or company starts with communication, honesty, accountability, and transparency. Leadership MUST be the ones that set the example.
I encourage you to make communication and employee involvement a priority in your company and organization. Allow those who work for you to have input, share ideas, and help solve issues within the company or organization. Listen to your people. Build trust through honest, real, and transparent communication. Give your employees a reason to buy into the company and organization by giving them the opportunity to share in the decision making process. Open the door to the conference room and invite everyone to come together.
As always, stay humble and serve well!