Get out and talk with your staff

Morale rises when bosses are out and about, re­ports Ben Pike

The Advertiser - Careers - - Executives -

CHIEF ex­ec­u­tives and other se­nior staff can make tan­gi­ble im­prove­ments in com­pany morale and cul­ture if they get out of their of­fices more and press the flesh with staff.

Or­gan­i­sa­tional psy­chol­o­gist Dr Peter Lang­ford says man­agers can­not sim­ply del­e­gate so-called ‘‘ soft’’ is­sues to hu­man re­sources de­part­ments or ju­nior man­agers.

Meet­ing your staff face-to­face will make them feel they are hav­ing an in­put into the com­pany and are part of some­thing big­ger than their own role.

It also will im­prove your ‘‘ favoura­bil­ity score’’, Lang­ford says.

‘‘ In lon­gi­tu­di­nal re­search with uni­ver­si­ties, what we’ve seen is a 10 per cent in­crease in favoura­bil­ity scores among lower-level staff in their re­la­tion­ship with se­nior man­age­ment,’’ he says.

‘‘ Con­fi­dence in the se­nior ex­ec­u­tive team, keep­ing staff in­formed, lis­ten­ing to staff, tap­ping into that re­la­tion­ship of trust; we’ve seen that go from 50 per cent to 60 per cent favourable. It’s a very tan­gi­ble change and that has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on morale and en­gage­ment.’’

As the di­rec­tor of Voice Pro­ject, Lang­ford ad­vises or­gan­i­sa­tions of all sizes on how they can im­prove their em­ployee en­gage­ment and staff morale – es­pe­cially in an ev­er­chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

He says there is a trend to­ward chief ex­ec­u­tives and other se­nior staff get­ting out and meet­ing their staff, driven by the fast-paced na­ture of mod­ern busi­ness.

But it doesn’t have to be ev­ery week.

‘‘ In a year, you have to make sure that you are get­ting out to not all staff but most staff,’’ Lang­ford says.

‘‘ Given the amount

of change or­gan­i­sa­tions are go­ing through, ex­ec­u­tives need to have staff on­side and ac­cept­ing of the new or­gan­i­sa­tional strate­gies and di­rec­tions be­ing put for­ward.

‘‘ As an em­ployee, I want to have a rea­son­able amount of con­fi­dence that that fu­ture world is a good place to go to.

‘‘ I’m go­ing to trust the de­ci­sion mak­ers more if I have had some level of con­tact with them (se­nior staff).

‘‘ If you’ve met the chief ex­ec­u­tive, you’re go­ing to men­tion that to your mate.’’

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