I want to tell you a story about one point in my career when I was part of a team that did not communicate. I had just started as an IT Support Specialist at a very large energy technology company. My manager was based out of Atlanta, and I was to support the offices in Minnesota.
What started out as a pleasant enough experience quickly went downhill. After a week of shadowing the only other support specialist in the state, I was let loose to do my job. At this point I realized I hadn’t been told many of the key elements of my job, the biggest of which was that speed was prioritized over long-term fixes. As I began to discover lapses in my training, it became very clear that those who were senior to me did not have the patience or strength of character to lead and mentor me when I ran into problems. “In the absence of rules, people tend to make up their own,” and there was a distinct absence of “rules,” a.k.a. core processes and guidelines about how I should do the job I was hired for.
It should come as no surprise that I was only at that company for a grand total of six weeks before I quit.
Experiences like mine are unfortunately common in the professional world. By placing a high level of importance on efficiency and productivity, the top level leaders and executives set a deadly precedent for the other leaders below them and across the business. They send the message that it doesn’t matter how something gets done, as long as the numbers are met. Sentiments like this emphasize the character flaws of everyone, employees and management alike, and lead to work environments that are tense, stressful, and full of conflict as tempers flare.
It is possible to have a highly efficient, productive team that also enjoys their environment and those they work with—especially those in leadership positions. Let’s dive into this concept.
Make the rules & policies clear
When I walked into work on day one at that technology company, I was not scheduled to