A leader who makes efforts to know every team members' work strengths is often aware about their thinking processes and where they can lead to
Whether the protests for safety for women in Delhi would have turned violent had our top leadership acknowledged and responded to this growing discontent is arguable, but it is clear that the delay in reaching out to people incited it quite a bit. While the gravity of the issue being raised on the streets of Delhi might be different from situations that can unfold in organizations, effects of leadership response and right communication do not differ much. Besides discontent among employees and its disastrous effects on teams, it affects work productivity and company atmosphere too. Growing discontent, even on smallest of issues, if left unaddressed, can become a major crisis for the organization. While ‘this too shall pass’ is a commonly followed motto, leaving discontent to die down on its own is one of the worst things to do on the part of a team leader.
Communicate to know it better:
A team leader’s awareness of a problem is also related to his relationship with his team. If your employees are seething over something and as a leader you are unaware of it, it clearly underlines the huge disconnect between you and the team. On the flip side, poor communication directly results in mistrust. No wonder such teams are often bad performers. While it is not possible for a leader to know everything about his team, he is expected to know most of it. The fact is that a leader who makes efforts to know every team members’ work strengths is often aware about their thinking processes and where they can lead to. This all directly relates to the way a leader communicates to his team. While within organizations these things may not turn up into agitation, they might affect work quality and result in attrition.
Do not avoid the signs:
Discontent among employees is something that starts exhibiting itself through various signs which are easy to notice. Often, team members in distress try to talk to their bosses. Every such conversation should be taken seriously. Do not undermine the issue and never let your employees feel that you do not consider their problems worth a discussion. Do not dismiss them within a few minutes. Listen to them carefully. This will also help you understand the extent of their worry and how urgently it needs to be sorted. If there are more than 2-3 employees talking about the same issue you need to be alert, something might be brewing inside their minds. These things often reflect as low productivity, detachment, compromising with deadlines etc.
No empty talk:
Talk to as many employees as possible to know the extent of the problem and how many people are affected by it. If nothing else, these conversations will help your employees trust you. Even if it is a concern that may take time to be resolved, do not break the thread of communication. Keep the discussions transparent and give your team members a fair idea of the situation. Along with this do not forget to talk about solutions and share updates with them. This will ensure that the employees don’t turn hostile and work toward solving the problem along with you. One important thing is to sound genuine and show results. Empty talk cannot pacify employees for long and at one point or another it may start reflecting as attrition.