Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Silo Busting

"We've always done it this way" - anonymous

Micro-Management is the single greatest deterrent to organizational progress in today's workforce. We all know that people don't leave companies, they leave bad bosses. Yet, workplace bullying at the expense of employee mental health continues to be an issue. There are a few avenues that require some intuition but could ultimately fix that which has a choke hold on progress.

Employee Perspective 
As individuals we are motivated by the following intrinsic motivators:
Wouldn't it be refreshing if your Manager sat down with you and asked for you to stack rank the five above behavioral characteristics then agreed to help you navigate the organization accordingly? Some people want fair treatment, others would love the opportunity to learn every day. There are those who dedicate their lives to a career that elevates a higher purpose while others seek to climb the corporate ladder. Some people simply enjoy a workplace culture that expands their social experience.

As an employee of a company, you reserve the right to call on a Human Resources representative to mediate issues between you and your manager. It is likely, however, that once you ask for said intervention your time at your organization is limited. It seems Managers can silo your career advancement but as soon as you call their style of leadership into question you may as well sharpen your resume.

From the employee purview, if your manager seeks to motivate through control, success is questionable at best.

Manager Perspective
Ever notice that Employee Engagement seems to look at process and rewards for the undervalued contributor?

Isn't that backward?  

In fact, career advancement relies on the critical involvement of a manager that believes in you! This requires trust and the ability to understand that a manager's primary job is to promote their greatest players.

Middle-Managers do ten times the work of their direct reports (often for less money). It can be a thankless job. Yet and still, we blame middle-managers for lack of organizational success. Micro-Management is not an affect of a leaders inability to lead, it is a construct of over-worked employees time management forced to be defunct at the expense of their own human compassion.

Managers are required to turn off the emotional side of their relationships because they don't have time to drive financial advancement while considering the individual development of the people they are called upon to lead.

The Solution
If we can agree that employees need the ability to navigate their own advancement and that Manager's are simply over-programmed, there is only one course of constructive intervention:

Human Resources

We have the ability to implement systems and processes that will destroy organizational bullying, allow for multiple sources of coaching for employee advancement and create culture where once there were only closed doors.

There are two issues corrupting this evolution:

1. Managers are unaware of the advantage that opening their leadership lane will afford them.
2. HR seems unwilling to intervene.

It's pretty simple, when Managers realize how incredibly effective it is to allow others in the organization to help them manage performance, their desire to control will die, time will free-up and their employees will succeed at a rate unimaginable.

"If you love someone, set them free" - Richard Bach

Where is HR in the construct of assisting business units in building relationships? Do we still feel uninvited to impose solutions that seem to require a PhD in the understanding of what sales does?

Human Resources is aptly named. We are not called upon to pretend to know the excruciating pain of a saleswoman's quota attainment nor do we need to code in open-source to understand our technical engineers. Last I checked, we all have kids and hobbies and a whole lotta human interaction that forms the way we work.... the way we live and the inevitable importance of this cross-section.

Don't Forget to Remember,


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