Wanting to Be Productive
I recently approached young professionals who have been in the workplace for at least 6 years. What these individuals have in common is ambition, their willingness to share, help others and contribute. They understand hard work and how great it feels to complete a job well done. They want to be productive. In a workplace that is respectful, their capabilities are maximized. They know this.
My goal was to simply listen and present their personal perspectives without commentary in an effort to help employers work beneficially with Millennials.
Once again, thank you to the 16 young leaders who let me into their minds and hearts. I hope I have honored your voices with authenticity and integrity.
I asked them, “What is that respectful environment that allows you to perform at your best?” These are their responses:
A workplace that is adaptable. One that eases outside pressures so they can focus on their work. A workplace that has flexible hours. One that offers options for and around childcare and aging parent-care.
A working environment with “a sliding scale of appearance based on culture within reason.” This allows them to “express their whole self in a professional environment”.
Respectful for them included consistent information management and clear rules. If internal information was not to be shared outside an organization, that the exclusivity be perfectly clear to everyone. Internally, senior executives should be sharing information with all employees affected by it. If there was a good reason why it couldn’t be shared, that there be a public explanation of why not. Without transparency, trust in senior management and organizational purpose eroded.
“Say that you don’t have the answers yet. Otherwise people lose trust. They don’t believe anything then –even the simplest stuff is undermined.”
“The need to feel useful.”
It’s a basic human need. It is accomplishing something toward a goal. If employees are valued as the most important resource for a company’s success, they should be recognized for adding to the effectiveness or profitability of the company. These young leaders defined recognition as a reward that continues to motivate:
- Pay increase
- New job
- Verbal recognition in front of others or broadcast to others
- Additional responsibilities
- New projects
Beyond personal recognition, there is also a need for worthwhile discussions that affect every contributor. These crucial discussions were “honest conversations and open dialogue about race, power, gender, etc.”
Regardless of age and years in business, these young leaders’ views make sense. With relatively full employment in the US workplace, organizations want to retain their people and have greater productivity. These views about respect in the workplace should not be ignored if organizations are serious about wanting to attract, develop and retain the best people. What do you think about their ideas? If implemented, would they make your job easier and you more productive?
I work with clients everyday who are cultivating more engaged leaders and creating a culture of respect which results in better retention. If you’d like to increase retention in your organization, let’s talk. You can reach me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com.