It is an interesting world in business, maybe even in families. The senior-most person decides what they need to do, when to do and how to do it. Everybody is instructed and expected to follow the system. Everything is monitored. Deviations are not allowed as specific processes are frozen. The employee is made to feel like a machine. And the employee is not a machine. She has a heart; she has a brain. She is looking for fulfilment in her life. But how do you get fulfilment, doing what you are being asked to do with no deviations? Sounds difficult.
By the way, why the seniors are so adamant that things have to be done in a specific way? Because they feel that this is the only correct way. Anything else is wrong. In addition, the seniors assume that juniors are less knowledgeable, they may be less sincere, and they may spoil whatever has already been done till now. So, a strict watch is advisable. But the junior feels suffocated. Her creativity is dying to come out. She gets irritated. This irritation starts getting visible in her behaviour with seniors. And the seniors react to that. The beginning of a toxic atmosphere in the organization has started. People start blaming each other and the productivity takes a beating.
Experts come in and blame the culture. Both the seniors and juniors are surprised. They were sincere to the work, to their heart. What happened?
Certain assumptions from both juniors and seniors are the culprit:
Juniors – Seniors are here to exploit us. In the end, our interests may not be taken care of. We may be deprived of appreciation and recognition for our efforts. And so on…
Seniors – We have so much experience. We know how things need to be done. We can’t keep on experimenting with new systems, processes and ideas. A system has been made for people to follow, not to keep on tweaking every day.
No one is ready to listen to each other. The environment needs a change. But whose responsibility is changing the environment? Maybe, the senior management. Well, they are sincere. They make a new set of policies and programmes to transform the culture in the organization. Instruction sheets are circulated. Everything is supposed to become alright, if the new policies are implemented well, within maybe 6 to 8 months. Juniors join the meeting but don’t participate much. They are not very sure about the consequences of their suggestion or opposition to the senior’s points being discussed. The environment does not feel safe. They do not feel the net of psychological safety over them.
After the stipulated time……..Well. nothing happens. Things remain exactly as they were there. Why? What wrong took place? How to correct it? Everyone was involved in finalizing the new policies. But, did everyone feel involved?
Think it over and write your comments below. Let us start talking. Let us focus on #makingworkplaceshappier