This week, during the course of a conversation with a senior level executive of a Multi-Billion dollar company, the topic of whether followers, direct reports, or line staff should expect encouragement and personal development as the norm was broached. Surprisingly, the question if their productivity, overall well-being and work life balance would suffer was not part of the conversation.
Followers Have an Important Voice
Here is the dilemma…many followers simply want to know they have a voice in order to align themselves with the vision, mission, and values of the organization. The days of simply dangling the carrot of a paycheck in front of followers is gone, the baby boomer generation was susceptible to that classical organizational way of thinking. Employee job satisfaction is crucial to this generation and they have a hunger that is currently not being met, because developing the entire (holistic) follower is not happening consistently.
Give Followers a Voice without Anarchy
Hence, my conversation with the executive simply portends a shift in thinking for organizations who want to keep their market share and remain solvent. So, how do we give followers a voice without creating anarchy? The metaphor of having a voice implies someone is willing to listen!
Demonstrate Your Followers that Their Voice Matter
Followers know all their suggestions and ideas cannot be implemented, but when they know their input matters (a voice) and will be heard with the possibility of adoption that creates Buy-in because it has become their own initiative, problem or idea. If you have decision making power in your organization or exist as a manager or leader, begin to observe your people’s needs and fulfill that hunger. It will create higher profits and more importantly, fully develop your organization’s human capital. What are you doing to demonstrate to your followers their voices matter?