03 Dec Why Does Disconnect Exist Among Ranks?
The answer is simple, yet delicate and complex all at the same time. You guessed right… Communication! Okay, so all we need to do is talk to one another and problem solved, right? Well, not quite. The people in upper management, CEOs, Directors, Chiefs, etc.… all know this uncomfortable truth, which is, leaders in organizations often make decisions based on information that is exclusive to only them. Some line level employees and especially middle management, all like to believe they have a seat at the table.
In most cases, an organization that adopts and practices growth mindset principles, listens to their employees, values their input, and apply that information in promotional selections and even some policy changes. But to be brutally honest, critical, organizational-shifting decisions will never be made by a collective group. Those decisions are reserved for the individual at the top and a fraction of his or her executive leadership team.
Disconnect and discontent rises to the surface when upper management makes decisions contrary to who or what middle management and line level employees believe to be the clear and obvious choice. The best way to prevent or recover from poor morale is to communicate as best you can from the top down and explain and provide context as to how some decisions are made.
However, what a burden it must be to explain and justify every organizational decision. By doing so, are we essentially devaluing and redefining the roles of a leader? After all, the most fundamental expectation of a leader is one who makes decisions that effects small or large groups. Should we strip that basic quality from leadership? In short, the answer is a strong NO.
If the saying “heavy is the head that wears the crown” has any validity, those who occupy these leadership positions should embrace the unfamiliar to a degree. Leaders should understand that middle management and line level employees are holding up a vacuum hoping to pull down the “whys” from the decision makers. Leaders should make a consistent and conscious effort to communicate the “whys” when they can and hope they have deposited enough trust in the “trust bank” when they cannot.
Some degree of disconnect will occur as it is inevitable. Each group, upper management, middle management, and line level employees all have different objectives and see things through a lens of their own. To manage that disconnect before it becomes discontent, all stakeholders need to practice two things. As simple, yet delicate and complex as it may be, practice downward COMMUNICATION. Above all, every team member deserves GRACE.
To lead or not to lead? That is the question…