Yes, it may be “lonely at the top,” but you can help dispel the myth of leaders being the “bad guys.” In your workplace culture, you may have been promoted, and suddenly find your colleagues relating to you as “them” instead of as “us” anymore. The only thing that changed was your job title, and yet, there is a myth that you are suddenly the enemy to anyone working at a level below yours.
It may take some diligent and intentional action to be viewed differently. You’ll have to break this illusion and establish a safe environment for your employees to have a voice, and to feel important. You may be met with resistance, as people may resent you having gotten a promotion, or moved up the ladder, but through listening and compassion, you can shift this dynamic.
When there is an “us versus them” structure at play, the focus becomes on internal struggles with personnel, rather than focusing forward on the customers, or on the bigger purpose of what the company is all about. It can suck the joy and vitality right out of your day, and over time, can cause unnecessary stress and frustration.
Here are some steps you can take to create a more empowering and relatable workplace culture:
- Partner Future Leaders with Senior Leaders (and Vice Versa): For example, have a Junior VP follow around a Senior VP for a workday. They can see the true scope of what their day looks like, and the way their workflow and tasks look. Through this kind of mentoring, it can create more of a partnership, and dispel any myths about what the boss does all day while the junior is hard at work. On the other end of this, have top-level Executives spend time with Assistants or Customer Service Representatives, to see the kinds of minutiae they manage on a daily basis. This way, both groups can gain a greater understanding and appreciation of one another. The “us” can become a “we.”
- Have Meetings Where Everyone Has a Say: If a top-level Executive calls a meeting, the intention is usually for that person to speak, and the entire staff under him or her to simply listen. There is no room for feedback, for collaboration, and no community. To turn the workplace into a community, where everyone feels their unique role matters and makes a difference, have meetings “town hall style.” The leaders can talk about what they see is happening, and the direction they’d like to see the company headed in, while the employees can then offer feedback and suggestions. Everyone wins!
- Connect on an even playing field: Create team building strategies where everyone is equal. This can be in the form of a book group that meets to discuss a business book, or through team building exercises or retreats. By everyone doing the same type of exercises together, the company can start to relate as individuals, minus the hierarchy, and know that everyone may play a specific role in the organization, but that we are all human, and that we are all connected.
There is no need for drama in the workplace, and through awareness, understanding, and diligence, you can foster a culture of inclusivity and connection to get more done, and have more fun in the process!
One of the best ways to be aware of your energy levels, which relate to your health, vitality, and emotions in particular areas of your life is through coaching. I use a system called Energy Leadership™ Development, and I focus on these eight building blocks to creating powerful change for yourself, and for everyone around you!
- Personal Development
- Spiritual Awareness
- Fun & Enjoyment
- Intimate & Social Relationships
- Personal Finance
Set up a time to chat with me now for a free session to see how I can support you in creating a more empowering workplace culture, or in any of these other areas of your life as well.