Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do You Deliver What You Promise?

Employees know lip service when they hear it and see it.  There are many reasons why your leadership team may start out with good intentions and then fall short of what they promise to deliver.  Your employees do not see those intentions - they only see the end result.  Oftentimes, it is a case that your managers don’t know what they don’t know.  Perhaps they were promoted into their position for their technical skills and not their people or communication skills.  It is imperative to have the right people in the right position.  Another reason your managers may pay lip service is that they do not truly believe anything will change or they secretly don’t agree with the change so they quietly sabotage it.  Just because you communicate a message, doesn’t mean your managers ACCEPT that message or interpret it in the way it was meant to be interpreted!  Another barrier to true engagement, is the - management vs. employees’ mentality.  In today’s competitive landscape, it is critical that your management team supports and aligns with not only your company’s strategy and vision, but connects with your employees as well.

When management pays lip service to employee engagement, your employees quickly see right through it and it breeds distrust.  When distrust is prevalent, your employees feel unheard and devalued.  It is risky for employees to come forward with their ideas, as they are fearful.  Fearful if they open their mouths regarding their ideas, that their managers will dismiss the idea.  Or that the idea will be considered too small and then they will be ridiculed, look foolish or be embarrassed among their peers, or worse yet, lose their job.  These fears are very real for your employees.  Therefore, it is crucial to build an environment of trust that promotes confidence among your employees and supports their efforts to achieve your company’s outcomes.

There are some steps you can take to actively engage your employees.  First and foremost, actively listen and show concern for your employees and then follow through on what you learn!  Second, communicate your goals and communicate them again and again!  This involves changing the nature of the dialogue in your company from top down to bi-directional.  Transparency and accountability is also of paramount importance – clearly define roles of responsibility, confront problems head on; and link rewards to outcomes.  Be realistic about the issues in your company and do not gloss over them.  Lastly, show the impact of implemented ideas both on people and systems to gain some level of agreement with the change from your employees to obtain maximum buy-in.

As your company’s strategy changes – so must your employees and operations.  Actively engaged and invested employees will seek out best practices and ask what they can do to meet company goals – if you ask for their help in navigating the change.  Actively invested employees want to share their ideas and expect their ideas to be taken seriously.  They will put in more effort beyond the scope of their job to become subject matter experts and will implement their ideas more efficiently and successfully.  Most of all, invested employees will look out for the best interests of your company – not just their own personal agenda.  Employee feedback is the most valuable resource in your organization as it allows you to understand what is working and what needs to change in your company.  Are you asking the right questions?

Idea Share Tip of the Month!

Management must trust that employees are capable of implementing the ideas they come up with.  Confident, trusting employees want the freedom to implement their ideas.  They also want to understand the impact and value that their ideas have brought to the company and to the work environment.  In contrast, unconfident, mistrusting employees want structure and want to be told what to do – either because they are not sure what they are good at or because they don’t trust that they won’t be punished for mistakes.  “I just did as I was told,” thus minimizing accountability along with discretionary effort.

Sign up for the Idea Share Tip of the Week! at Frame of Mind Consulting

Frame of Mind Consulting understands the unique DNA of your organization, which is necessary to turn any organization into one capable of leveraging the full idea potential of its employees. Would you like to drive connectivity and ownership throughout your company?  Contact Page at (860) 559-7942 to set up your complimentary consultation during which you will receive some invaluable tips that you can apply to your business right away.


  1. Interesting that management will often resist giving employees any responsibility for ideas. The people on the front lines can come up with huge cost-saving innovations when the opportunity.