DROWNING IN THE BROKEN DREAM
Here you are: you’ve created a company. You put your blood, sweat and tears into creating something amazing. You have a great mission, and are offering products or services that are spectacular! You feel like what your company has to offer will make a difference in not only your life, but all of your employees, and their families!
In the beginning, there was SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT! Everyone you brought onto the team was engaged, enthusiastic, and ready to take on the WORLD!!!
Now, you feel exhausted. You’re drowning in the day to day of running your business, and that once bright-eyed glimmer has all but faded from your eyes.
Your employees who once held so much promise are now ‘lazy’, distrustful, and apathetic.
So, what went wrong?
HOW YOU GOT HERE
Right about now, you are shaking your head, and thinking:
“I don’t know how I got here.”
“Where are all the people who want to dig in, and help me grow this business to its full potential??”
“I want to feel supported in growing this business, but I don’t feel like I have that here!”
“They were so excited to work with us in the beginning! Why aren’t they producing???”
“Have I hired the wrong people????”
Here’s the thing…..unfortunately, it’s not just about hiring the right people.
That’s a great start, but it’s also about having a system in place that allows for a symbiotic relationship between your managers and your employees. One that sets management up to be a supportive position: fostering new talent, and allowing new employees to thrive.
Except most management positions aren’t set up that way at all!
THE ROAD TO MANAGEMENT HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS
Yes. Your intentions were good.
When you were still small, and growing, everyone just did a little bit of everything. No one’s role really needed much defining, because you were all in it TOGETHER!
You made it a point to work with the people who really “got you”, almost like you shared the very same brain! You haven’t needed to develop communication strategies with the people who think like you!
You started to grow, and soon you were hiring with an eye towards bringing on diverse talent.
Except the system you had in place at the beginning wasn’t really set up to help a diverse team that wasn’t a part of your small “inner circle”. Your system isn’t working, and it probably hasn’t been for a while.
You didn’t really invest in a thorough training and development plan, and it has started to show its wear on your employees.
Bringing on people with good instincts and initiative will only take you as far as making those individuals feel like they matter.
So, it’s time to ask yourself the hard questions:
- Did you become too overwhelmed in your role to continue to foster the kind of work environment that you envisioned?
- Has your company accidentally adopted the attitude of: “sink or swim” over the years?
- Is it possible that you have overlooked some “hidden gems”, and instead of seeing the potential within your workforce, you see only poor work-ethic, and dissatisfaction?
In my previous position, our training was rushed, management relied completely on our fellow senior employees to train us, but we soon learned the nature of the job would constantly be changing, though no communication would be given until after everyone had been doing things that were now considered ‘incorrect’. Following performance metrics became difficult to keep up with when they kept changing, and often weren’t communicated until the middle of a ‘review’. Any attempts to bridge the gap of communication, and the changing expectations were dismissed, unrecognized, or re-packaged by management without appreciating the employee who brought it to their attention. The job soon became a deadly trifecta of: miscommunications, under-utilization, and endless criticisms.
DON’T THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER JUST YET…
Now you’re thinking: “Ok, it’s the managers I’ve hired and promoted. It’s their fault!!!! IF I just hired the right MANAGERS this never would have happened!!!”
Nothing happens in a vacuum dear leader…
If a company’s value system is inherited from the top down, you have to take a look within yourself.
It isn’t necessarily the fault of your management staff either:
- Most managers don’t have experience managing a team, and are often internally promoted within their companies.
- The role of management in most organizations is more akin to “Big Brother” as they monitor, micro-manage, or oversee the employees.
- There is a lack of training and mentorship of new employees, partly because the managers themselves are overwhelmed within the organization.
- Small mistakes are used against newer employees rather than as opportunities to grow and shine.
- This leads to a distrust of employee abilities.
- That distrust leads to communicating only what the employee is doing incorrectly.
- That distrust breeds self-doubt within the newer employees.
- The employee then doesn’t take initiative to become more involved.
- Managers take this as confirmation bias that they were right not to entrust the employee.
- The employee doesn’t trust that management has their best interests at heart.
It’s a vicious cycle that repeats because most companies don’t believe that their management or training systems need any evaluation.
Are you fearing this might be your company?
The fact is: your dissatisfied, and underutilized employees COST YOU MONEY, but VALUED employees can help take your business to the next level!
- Valued employees report greater levels of overall satisfaction in their lives.
- Valued employees care about improving their performance.
- Valued employees work better, smarter, and more efficiently than undervalued employees.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
It doesn’t have to be this way. There is always a way to fuel the fire within your workforce and make your employees feel engaged, respected and valued within their jobs. You don’t even need to overhaul everything to start! You can start today!
THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY
- Add in appreciation of a job well-done, especially when offering constructive feedback:
- Words of encouragement and affirmation go a long way to make your staff feel cared for, and valued. Find ways of highlighting things your staff did very well along with something they needed to improve.
2. Consider mapping out achievable metrics for new employees, with a specific timeline in mind:
- When there are very clear objectives employees should be achieving by a specific amount of time (30 day review): it helps keep everyone motivated, and on the same page of what you expect of them.
3. Create a two-way evaluation:
- Very often evaluations only go one-way: Manager to employee, but if you allow the employee to also evaluate their own performance, as well as the company culture, and the manager’s performance: it’s going to give you so much information, and will make your employee feel as though their feedback is necessary to your company!
It’s always possible to pivot. You can take all the necessary steps to start implementing your values, and expanding on your training and mentoring of new employees to make them feel inspired, and excited to grow with your company for years and years!
You too can have a Magical Team with the right systems, values, hiring, and training practices.
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