Monday, July 9, 2012

On Creating A "Less Miserable" Work Environment

With the growth of products like Yammer, Jive, Socialtext, and even instant messaging at work, the whole conversation is becoming irrelevant.

The power of a superior (leaders, manager, supervisor) to create a lousy work environment is directly correlated with their ability to shut people up. More specifically the power to stop people from forming groups where mistreatment is openly aired (you could never really stop people from having one on one conversations offline).

Older folks like us are just starting to grasp this premise. But the younger generation is very intuitive about it. They have no problem marching into a classroom, an office, anywhere really and taping what's going on then posting it online.

(As I recently learned when I lost my temper with my daughter, and she taped me on her iPhone, then played it back for my husband! Yes - that actually happened and I was mortified!)
Once people find out who is good to work for, which department is good to work for, which agency is good to work for, what's going on in the private sector vs. the public sector, etc. the system will correct itself. For survival's sake, leaders will have to adapt to the empowered workforce.
The empowerment of employees is something I care a lot about. As a communicator with a lot of background in internal communications and organizational development it has frequently been depressing to see the gap between what we say to the outside world, and how we treat people on the inside.

(And sometimes fulfilling - because of leaders and non-leaders who have integrity and really treat people with heart - the problem being that as a rule they never want credit or publicity for it at all and are horrified when you suggest it.)
I was watching Joel Osteen on TV a couple of weeks ago and he talked about salvation arriving "suddenly." It is my feeling that the moment of salvation for employees has arrived, thanks to G-d's infinite mercy in providing us the tools of the Internet and social media.