In the modern day,
Organisations are expecting their employees to “marry” the organisation, outperform their responsibilities, foster an innovative culture, refer an equally brilliant talent and even discuss their reasons for leave or personal issues at length with their heads, in order to promote an all-big organisational family structure.
But isn’t this traversing the personal and professional boundaries? Is it just on the organisation’s part to force open a dialogue of a personal level with their employees?
As organisations are constantly preparing and comparing performance charts across departments and even conducting one-on-one’s for performance improvement, so wouldn’t it be important for employees to follow suite for organisations across the industry? To lookout for an environment that does not give them pangs of embarrassment and let them be comfortable in their skin while working.
Generally, such personal questions are encountered due to the objectivity of the HR i.e. instead of focusing on data and evidences they at times get influenced by opinions and preconceived notions.
For instance, a vocal new employee will be misconstrued whereas an existing employee who is always agreeable to organisational discussions will be given a leeway. This thread of misconceptions in no time gets communicated to employees as a policy or worse verdict of the senior management as departmental heads and line managers are their representations.
An example of Amazon will better explain the context;
A leading business journal interviewed some of its departmental heads and employees who were of the opinion that Amazon demands its employees to spend lesser time with their families, emails are received post midnight expecting prompt replies, to toil and work late and throwing work-life balance out the window, among many others. This callous culture was maybe being driven. When CEO Jeff Bezos got a whiff of this, he encouraged employees to read this article and sent a memo saying that anyone would be ‘crazy to work here’. He then clarified all such assumptions and requested employees facing such injustice to speak directly to him while explaining the positivity that is nurtured in the organisation.
In this example, the objectivity across various hierarchies stimulated miscommunication and negativity throughout the organisation. Pushing employees to quit the organisation. Though leaders choose their line managers and heads with careful scrutiny and endow trust on them but it does not mean that they should be trusted blindly. If the ground level workforce is not engaged then your organisation will never deliver its value, neither for its shareholders nor for its clients.
The frustration level among victim employees surmounts so much that they can bash your organisation all over the world wide web!
Another aggravated scenario is when line managers and HRs fail at conducting fruitful stay interviews i.e. they do not communicate and address employee needs properly in order to retain them. HRs in general, respond a “That is good” to employee concerns and move on to the next order to business as if they are fulfilling a compliance requirement. Moreover, they trivialise employee feelings and worse even bring in performance discussions thereby shaking the trust and confidence across this entire effort. Employees who might just stay want an actionable stay interview and not a passive one.
The cost of losing an invaluable resource is not just the hiked pay of the new one but also hiring, training, initial low productivity, overworked remaining staff and a sense of dis balance in the organisation. Thus, the right ‘stay’ interview is key to remaining competitive in your industry and reaching out to employees in different ways. A stay interview helps in understanding why employees stay and reinforcing those important positive factors and completing eliminating the negative ones. Therefore, managers and HR need to be trained on conducting these interviews and building trust by listening effectively to the employees.