There are certainly pros and cons to permitting employees to get their way. In my experience the problem is seldom the employee. Generally management usurps employee empowerment by implicitly inducing some form of control. This “control” while appearing to be justifiable by management, results in employees doing of all things innovating the way things have always been done. Leadership and management tend to castigate dissenting employees when the very thing an organization needs is a revolution. Perhaps the most contemptible form of leadership is the claim for innovation and forward thinking while lining boxes with employees who dare to think out of the box. Employees are not slot fillers or people on the hierarchical chart.
Every employee from the frontline worker up is an innovation engine whose diversity of thought should be championed as much as their gender and race.
That being said, on rare occasions an organization will have people who will not adopt the organization mission. You may choose to, I hesitate to use “manage” or “deal with,” in the following ways. Remember leaders are shepherds not sheepherders.
Writes John Boitnott in Entrepreneur Magazine, “….. your employee is consistently going above your head or discussing matters with clients or customers, it can be disastrous to wait. As you notice these behaviors occurring, be sure you tell those superior or clients that you’ve asked the employee to come to you. This is especially true in the case of an employee who continually takes matters up the chain, disregarding all protocols, in order to get his or her way.
When you notice an employee has spoken to someone, gently remind that employee that he or she is to come to you with those issues. Immediately following that discussion, speak to the client or superior who was involved and explain that you asked the employee not to bother him with such matters. While you likely won’t want to continue to run to all parties involved, if an employee continues to discuss issues with upper management, it may be time to schedule a meeting with your boss to discuss how to proceed. This proactive approach prevents a situation where you’re called in to answer to accusations that have been levied against you.”
Engaging employees means:
Leading not managing
See how we enable organizations to engage employees. Go >
Building trust which creates empowerment, participation and self management teams and employees who seek out new ways.
My last words on leading what appears to be disgruntled employees?
Take them out to lunch
Ask them, “What do you think?” Jim
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Jim is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters. He is a leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results.