Many business leaders I speak to express frustrations with their team’s inability to change behaviors. The executive team will make decisions or create a new strategy only to have the employees resist. This can be extremely frustrating at best, and kill your business at worse. There are many things that go into good decision making, and ensuring that decisions are actually followed through. Today I am going to challenge you to review your decision making process. Could your process be impeding your ability to get things done?
One of the fundamental duties of leaders and managers in any organization is decision-making. Leaders and managers make decisions every day from prioritizing and assigning tasks to how to implement a new strategy. The decision-making process in every company is different and unique to its own culture. Decisions could be made by the owner/CEO, or by a board or committee.
It doesn’t matter how decisions are made in your company there are real consequences to your employees with each decision, although some decisions have a bigger impact than others. In my experience your decision making process can have the greatest impact on employee retention and productivity. Here are some things you can do to make sure your decisions don’t have a negative effect on your company.
I was in a meeting with a dozen or so employees at a company as they were learning about a new corporate policy regarding their benefits. The Human Resources department put together a detailed Power Point presentation to clearly explain the changes and the impacts to the employees. Human Resources representatives were at each presentation to answer any questions that the employees might have. They were well versed on the details of the new program, however they never adequately communicated why the decision to change the benefits was made. What was the rationale behind the decision? As a result, the employees assumed that it was made to appease shareholders at the extent of the employees. Was that the case? I don’t know. Does it matter? No, that was the perception and perception rules. I can tell you that the employees did not feel VALUED after that meeting.
In today’s social media driven world of comments and likes people express their opinions on almost everything. This culture of sharing opinions flows over into the workplace as well. Employees like to have some say in the decision-making process. They like to have their voices heard. In large organizations it is challenging or unreasonable to expect that everyone has their opinions heard.
However, their voices usually can and should be represented in the decision making process. Employees and management alike could have a “seat at the table” for decision making. This does NOT mean that you have to implement every decision from all stakeholders. It does mean that all viewpoints are considered in the process. Then when decisions are made the concerns expressed by all decision makers should be addressed when communicating the decision. Letting people know that they were heard and part of the process increases engagement, and helps improve retention and productivity among your teams.
I have observed meetings where senior executives (or even front-line managers) have made decisions, but never executed the decision. What a waste of time and energy! Why were they not executed? It could be a wide variety of things from feeling excluded the process, not understanding why or how to implement the decision or just thinking the decision was stupid (managers don’t understand how work gets done). Whenever a decision is made, someone has to implement or execute the decision. Allowing everyone to be represented in the process, communicating the why behind the decision, and adding accountability helps ensure that your decisions are executed and you get the results you are looking for.
This Week’s Challenge
How are decisions made in your company? Are your decisions having the impact you want them to have? Do you need help setting up a decision-making process that is inclusive, and achieves the desired outcomes? We can help.
If you need help, or would like to learn more about how to retain your top performers, please reach out to me. I’ll be happy to help!