This may come across a bit ironic… I am asking if today’s workplaces are better today, than 5 years or 10 years ago? Why, ironic? Well, I retired from corporate America about 1 1/2 years ago. Not really in that workplace… I happened to get together with some of my old colleagues the other day. They were discussing with me that I was so lucky that I am no longer going into the office. They wanted to trade places with me. They were sharing their observations about the workplace in general. They were sharing how people are frustrated, angry, disillusioned, tired, and afraid. Not to mention skeptical, cynical, and distrustful. Doesn’t take a genius to know that these feelings will have an overall effect on the greatest asset, the people.
Is the workplace different? I started to reflect on my last year or so of employment. Seemed to me, things really have not changed that much. I remember clearly the same feelings that I was hearing about when I was casting a shadow in the hallways. As an organizational leader, times are really tough when the workplace is as mentioned. What do you have to do to make the workplace better:
- Be a leader that stands up and acts with integrity. Don’t change who you are. All of your people know you and they can see exactly what your intentions are.
- Listen with feeling. We are all human.. We have feelings. When you listen, you react to what you hear.
- Acknowledging how the workplace is, is the right thing to do. Knowing is half the battle. I have always respected the leaders that spoke and acted when times got tough. I know that I could not change the complete workplace, but I can have an impact on my teams (and the teams that interact with my teams). Start small… Gathering successes… Celebrating those successes…
Is the workplace better or worse? I think it starts from within. Each person has to look at what they can do to make the workplace better. Are you going change the big corporate machine? No! You can make yourself and those around you – better. That is the control that each of us has and should use.