The business environment is not what it once was. If in the past things were fairly segmented and predictable, today’s business world is wholly interconnected and vulnerable to even the slightest of fluctuations.And with the arrival of the internet, social media, and numerous other disruptive technologies, the traditional command-and-control leadership model no longer seems viable.
A more versatile, flexible, transparent, and impartial system is taking its place, one that shares power and responsibility, rather than monopolizing and funneling at the top. Several factors go into this progressive democratization of the workplace, but probably the most important are the use of authenticity and the sharing of authority.
What is Authenticity in the Workplace?
Statistics show that within American organizations, a quarter of employees don’t trust their employer. Also, a third believe that their employer is not always honest and truthful with them. Over half believe that their employer is not upfront and open with them. Similarly, a third of employees think that to save face; some managers pass the blame onto their subordinates whenever mistakes occur.
All of these examples harm the employees and organization as a whole, lowering morale, increasing anxiety and turnover rates, as well as decreased productivity. However, this doesn’t happen when employees trust their leaders and managers. Exhibiting strong values by owning up to their mistakes and responsibilities; we promote fairness in the workplace, so leaders will better engage with their employees. They, in turn, will feel inspired to seek their responsibility and strive to do their best work.
Several factors go into progressive democratization of the workplace, but probably the most important are the use of authenticity and the sharing of authority.
By sharing power and empowering decision-making capabilities, especially to frontline staff members, CEOs and other senior leaders will position the company for greater success. Today’s consumers are defined by convenience, meaning that a company that takes too long to respond to their queries will only stand to lose.
But by providing those employees closest to the customers with the authority to make decisions, leaders will significantly streamline the process and improve the customer experience. However, this will require a certain degree of adaptability from managers and execs, who have been accustomed to maintain the entire spectrum of authority.
Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that frontline employees are the ones who know and understand your customers the best. They need to be able to communicate with them by exercising as much flexibility as possible in resolving customers’ concerns. To enable this rapid responsiveness and ensure that employees will react positively to the clients’ needs, CEOs and other execs need to create a series of guidelines for when and how employees can make these independent decisions.
Of course, this includes the necessary information, processes, and coaching support, helping staff members provide customers with precisely what they need. By delegating this part of the process, your employees will also feel more empowered and be more engaged as well as more committed to performing.
By providing your employees with authenticity as well as empowering them to act when necessary, you will significantly increase their morale and effectiveness. Always keep in mind that today’s workforce wants to believe in their organization and what it stands for. This, however, is only possible when they too have a say and can directly influence the organization’s direction. Blindly following orders and never being able to act on their own accord, will not cut it. When they are empowered to act and when they are presented with authenticity from their leaders, employees will also become engaged in their work, and understand the company’s identity better, providing benefits for everyone involved.