A common complaint I hear from people is that they feel that management doesn’t listen to them, tends to impose decisions and doesn’t let them know what’s going on. Management on the other hand thinks that employees are overreacting, should adapt more quickly to change and thinks that they do give employees an opportunity to provide input.
So why the disconnect?
First, managers need to understand that a majority of employees are uncomfortable making decisions quickly, preferring to be more cautious and thorough. Managers on the other hand often earn their promotions by being decisive and taking calculated risks. Employees are often more sensitive to making sure that everyone is happy, whereas managers know that in most situations it is impossible to keep everyone happy.
So what can managers do?
First of all, managers do have to dedicate a lot of their time to communications. And realize that telling people once is not enough. The manager should always be linking their communication back to their vision. Next managers should take extra time to ask for employee input on decisions. There are two reasons – one is to help employees feel that they have input and ultimately buy in to the solution, and the second reason is that by involving more people, usually a better solution can be created.
If you consult with employees, don’t you create a false expectation that their ideas will be part of the solution?
Yes, there is some expectation that some ideas will get included. It is reasonable to also say that some ideas ultimately did not make it into the plan for a variety of reasons – too expensive, too difficult or not enough payback.
People should consider attending my Leadership Boot Camp – June 3rd and 4th at the Windsor Club. We will be covering all of the essential leadership skills – Dealing with Difficult People, Managing Conflict, Motivating Employees and Communication Skills. It is great for managers, supervisors and even team leaders or lead hands. Only 25 people will be able to join me – check it out at www.LeadershipWizard.com