In the book, The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization, coauthors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton bring up the topic of manager accessibility…
When managers and team members aren’t accessible, team members feel like islands unto themselves. This leaves room for hidden information, lost productivity, incorrect outcomes, and disengaged team members… Similar to the parent that has no time for his children or significant other, a lack of accessibility sends a set of negative messages to the people at work that we need the most: that they aren’t important to us or the team, that their peers are more important than they are, and that their ideas, questions, and concerns aren’t relevant.
Thoughts, Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Are you kidding me? My boss is a thousand miles away from me. Every time she swoops into town, she gives me more work. The less I see of her the better.
Wanda B. Goode: As much as some people claim that they don’t need face time with their managers, I believe most would like more than they currently get. People like to feel appreciated, and one way managers can show appreciation is to give team members their time and attention. It can be difficult with distributed teams and limited travel budgets, but regular one-on-one meetings via conference call can be a very effective alternative to in-person discussions.
A couple of related posts:
In his book, Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture, Jon Gordon has the following to say about communication…
As companies, we spend millions of dollars communicating and advertising to our customers attempting to earn their trust, and yet we spend so little effort communicating and advertising to our most important customers – our employees.
Thoughts Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Drivel.
Wanda B. Goode: Agreed – with Jon, not Joe! Sometimes we don’t communicate because we overlook its importance. Usually, though, it’s because we are afraid. Either we don’t trust our employees with the information, or we hoard it ourselves for job security.
Without communication, there is no trust. Without trust, there is no engagement. When in doubt, over-communicate. It truly is worth it.
Here are a couple of other posts on communication.
I was over at benchmarklearning.com recently, and within the description of a training course on organizational change management there was the statement, “Organizations reach their goals through projects; projects require that people change. BUT as a wise man once told me, the only person who really likes change is a wet baby; and, even they usually kick and scream throughout the change process!”
Isn’t that the truth?
Joe Kerr: When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange, who you are into what you’re gonna be… Shanana na na na na na na Shanananana!
Wanda B. Goode: True enough. The way to reduce the kicking and the screaming is through frequent and sustained two-way communication and good training. Of course if those “inflicted” with the change can’t be convinced of the benefit of the change, you’re in for a rough colicky stretch.
Here’s another post on change.
The “Six Month Rule” of Organizational Change – It’s All Personal!
In her book, The Power of Pause, Nance Guilmartin references the phrase “continuous partial attention,” coined by Linda Stone, a former Microsoft and Apple Computer Executive. It refers to how technology can influence users to continuously “want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment.” Nance also quotes an article in the Scientific American Mind that explains the impact on people’s abilities to make decisions – “They no longer have time to reflect, contemplate or make thoughtful decisions. Instead they exist in a sense of constant crisis-on alert for a new contact or bit of exciting news or information at any moment. Once people get used to this state, they tend to thrive on perpetual connectivity.”
Thoughts Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Boston’s up 2-0 on Cleveland in the top of the 7th.
Wanda B. Goode: Treating everything as a crisis means everything has the same priority. Tough to get anything meaningful done under those conditions. I love technology, but I think many of us could use a forced break every once in a while.
Here are some related posts