Next gen is a common term used to describe a product upgrade, often in technology. It’s been picked up by other industries to mean “better than before”. One of the reasons I like the term is because it doesn’t imply that the past was bad.
For example, in the context of management, no one is saying that managers are currently doing a bad job. Your organization has performance standards for managers and holds them accountable for meeting that standard. However, last year introduced some new ways to approach work and as such, managers are going to have to adapt accordingly.
If you’re looking for some creative inspiration to share with your managers, these articles could be helpful. I’ll be honest, they might not be new and revolutionary, but they’re great reminders about the things that managers should be doing. It’s so easy to get distracted, we need these gentle reminders.
A human workplace is where employees feel empowered, understand their purpose, and are excited about their future with the organization. I like to think about these three drivers – purpose, autonomy, and engagement – like a three-legged stool. We need all of them to create a more human workplace. And we want them in a certain level of balance. Regardless of what’s happening in the business world, organizations need the best talent to meet their goals. That not only means hiring the best but keeping them.
Servant Leadership states that excellent leaders serve those who follow them. If you’re not familiar with the concept of servant leadership, it was started in the 1970’s by Robert Greenleaf, director of management research at AT&T. Greenleaf’s job was to study how the best leaders emerged in organizations. During the same time, Greenleaf was personally troubled by the student unrest on college and university campuses. So, Greenleaf decided the best way to understand the youth movement was to read “Journey to the East” by Hermann Hesse, a novel that was very popular with youth at the time.
Organizations continue to look for ways to create greater employee engagement. Of course, one of the ways they do it is by creating programs focused on improving engagement. But creating programs can’t be the only thing that organizations do. Managers need to be actively involved in creating engagement. This is a nice list of things that we can remember to do when interacting with employees. Will we remember to do every single one on each and every day? Probably not. But maybe that’s not the point. My question is, how many managers are doing at least one with an employee every day? Or maybe managers are great at using an employee’s strengths but not so great at creating collaborative opportunities. The goal for management is with every interaction to provide employees with an engaging experience.
Some people might feel that working from home can negatively impact company culture and promote employee disengagement. I won’t lie – it might if the organization doesn’t make real effort to engage with employees. But in many cases, a remote work arrangement is an opportunity. The goal (and the challenge) is to be there enough that employees know you’re supporting them but not so much that all of the activities get in the way of the work. It’s a delicate balance for sure. Asking employees what they need – and they might not know right away – will help start the conversation.
Please don’t be modest and think to yourself . . . I don’t have any power. We all have workplace power. Some have more than others. There are lots of different ways power can manifest itself. And for that reason, it’s important to realize that power exists in everyone, not just management. It’s also possible that you have different kinds of power with different groups or situations. The two biggest mistakes I see with people using power revolve around trying to use power they don’t have and using the wrong kind of power to achieve specific results.
Unfortunately, regardless of where your organization is during this time, it doesn’t make you immune to having to deliver bad news. This could be a real struggle for organizations and managers that have never really had to deliver bad news before. Or they haven’t had to deliver bad news in quite some time. But it is possible to deliver bad/sad news in a way that’s respectful to employees. The way to do it is by keeping the basic tenets of the employee experience in mind.
While organizations will expect a lot from their management team this year, it’s important to remember that managers have their own set of challenges that they’re working through right now. They’re helping employees stay safe in the workplace, get accustomed to remote work, juggle work productivity and home life, be a remote caregiver – as well as figuring all of this out for themselves. Organizations that want managers to deliver an excellent employee experience to a hybrid workforce need to give managers the support and tools to make it happen.
COMING SOON ON THE HR BARTENDER SHOW6