Statistics show that a whopping 70% of employees are disengaged from their jobs. And to make matters worse, most leaders don’t know what to do about it. The reason for this is that most of them have faulty management ideas and misconceptions about their organization that they often use as the foundation of their strategies.
Failing to recognize these faulty management ideas can and will impair employees instead of helping them do their best work and achieve their true potential. Such blind spots can lead many in a critical leadership position down the wrong road, derailing the entire company and disengaging the workforce. So, what are they?
The Company Story
Many leaders have been duped into thinking that their company’s story is something that people care about. The reality of the matter is that most businesses’ backstories are dull and fail to inspire employees. Most don’t do a good job when developing their origin stories, their intentions, or plans. Leaders need to take a better look at what these are and revise them, if necessary.
Numbers Trump Purpose
While most leaders agree that purpose matters, most will say that the company’s bottom line matters more. The fact of the matter is that today’s employees are driven by purpose and the meaning they find in their work. If the purpose and mission of the organization are put on the backburner, the numbers will have to suffer.
The fact of the matter is that today’s employees are driven by purpose and the meaning they find in their work.
A common misconception circulating executives is that people will not do what’s required of them unless they’re told or are held accountable to do it. It could not be further from the truth. In reality, it’s the complete opposite. While there needs to be some degree of accountability, most people thrive if they’re given responsibilities and are trusted to see them through. Forcing people to stick to rigid scripts will not only limit their talents and capabilities but will also harbour apathy and resentment.
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You should start by establishing clear priorities, provide the necessary context for why these priorities are important, and invite your employees to leverage their skills wherever they make sense.
Facts and Fear
There’s a reason why PowerPoint presentations are boring. Fact-packed, data-driven reports will present a situation, but it will not paint a clear picture. Facts will never engage people enough to get the point across. Many leaders are oblivious of this and wonder why last week’s staff meeting didn’t improve the situation. You need to appeal to one’s feelings and emotions to get people to understand.
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There’s also a common trend of adopting a “force-facts-fear approach” when communicating with employees. It starts with why we’d better change (force), why we need to change (facts) and why we’re in trouble if we don’t change (fear). Instead, try framing your communications with a more positive and hopeful perspective.
Telling It Like It Is
It’s relatively common for people in leadership positions to think that their employees feel comfortable speaking to them what they think. Really, bottom-up truth-telling is a rarity within most organizations. It is equally true during formal meetings as it is in one-on-one conversations. Employees fear that if they speak candidly, their boss will reprimand them in one form or another. Leaders need to find ways to create an atmosphere that allows for free, honest, and candid conversations.
By highlighting these blind sports to your management and leadership teams, you will help them improve their ways and consistently turn them into highly engaged employees. If you want additional advice on how to avoid these faulty management ideas, call me at +1 (604) 943-0800 or book an appointment at https://go.oncehub.com/GregNichvalodoff.