It seems like frustration is at an all-time high. On a daily basis people are coming unglued over things they have no control over, and never will.
We are told to be more empathetic. We are told our employees need us to be “X”. You fill in the “X” because it changes pretty much article to article, generation to generation, leader to leader. One day I’m just supposed to care more. Then next day I need to listen more. The next day I need to understand more. Today, I need to be more flexible.
Somehow we’ve gone from running businesses to managing a day care.
I’ve stopped listening to people who don’t do the job I do. To the people who haven’t done the job in the past decade. To the people who claim to be experts but haven’t worked in my field, ever.
Instead, I’m going out and talking to my employees. The young ones, the old ones, the ones in between that we’re not supposed to pay attention to anymore because they don’t matter because they’re not young or old, or female, or a minority, or gay. I’m going out and talking to them all equally. Since I need them ‘all’ to move my organization forward.
It doesn’t matter what my employees are telling me. That’s for me, to help them. The thing that will help my employees, most likely won’t help your employees. You work in a different culture, location, industry, climate, etc. No one is a better expert on my employees than I am.
Just like you will be the expert of your employees, your team, your department, your organization.
But, here’s what I think you’ll find out:
– Your employees are all individuals with very specific problems, concerns, and desires.
– Their problems start close to them and then move outward. Sure it sucks Trump is making massive change and they want to help America and the World, but first, they have an issue with daycare and paying student loans, and a health scare. Those problems are bigger than the world problems you keep shoving down their throat. Help them solve the problems close first, then solve the world.
– Your millennials employees became adults, and you keep treating them like they just left college and are still kids.
– Your ‘new’ youngest employees are much different than millennials, and they’re not. They’re still young people with young people problems and passions.
– Your employees want to be successful. Across the board, it’s a driving, motivating force. You helping them become successful is the most important thing you can do as a leader. What’s successful? That is also very individualized. Your challenge, as a leader, is to find a way tie their success to the organization’s success. It’s hard to do, and you have to figure it out for your employees.
We keep letting other people tell us how to do our jobs. Have fun with that. I’m going to do the job I was hired to do, the way I know it needs to be done because no one knows how to do this job, better than me.