The holiday season is considered to be the time of giving, a time to be selfless and cognizant of the needs of others. As a business coach and consultant I have often been faced with what I call “The Great Divide” between upper management of companies and the balance of the working team. Some may call it “The Us and Them Syndrome”, but I like “The Great Divide” because that’s exactly what it does to a company, divide it. Regardless of what you call it this separation within a company is both counter productive and unnecessary, and is due to the lack of “giving” at some or all levels of the corporate structure.
As employers and leaders we are aware of what we want our employees to give to us; integrity and loyalty, a positive mental attitude (PMA), initiative, effective communication, and leadership (yes, we really do expect our employees to display leadership qualities such as setting a good example, thinking of better ways to do things, inventively cutting costs, etc.)
However, if we are to eliminate the divide we must also understand what we need to give to our staff. Their seasonal wish list might look something like this:
- Give me praise and feedback – Do they know how well they are performing their job, and what they can do to improve their skill set or advance within the company?
- Allow me to be involved & empowered – Do they have an impact on decisions made that affect their job, and do they have the authority and resources to truly perform their job functions?
- Provide me with personal development opportunities – Do you offer additional training, worships, and education that will provide growth within the organization?
- Give me open, honest, and timely communication – Do employees know and have access to information that affects both them as individuals and the company as a whole?
- Allow me to trust my leadership – Can your employees feel confident that you are defining a clear path, keeping them on the right track, and allowing them to be a part of something larger than themselves?
It is said that giving allows both the giver and the recipient to receive a gift. By including the above items on your giving list you will receive the gift of engaged, productive, loyal and happy employees. Your employees will receive the gift of satisfying work, acknowledgment and respect for a job well done, and a sense of being an active part of the whole. Everyone gets their wish and there is no longer room for “The Great Divide”. Enjoy the peace.