Development as a Workplace Objective.
By focusing on development, entire environments come together. This is because development is such an inspiring, satisfying, growth oriented, and positive directional principle. One of the greatest assets is how it brings people together. This common goal, especially when applied in the workplace, enables us to work without fear, and with meaning. Employees now have a purpose (possibly a life purpose) they can work toward on a daily basis. That purpose is shared by their fellow workers and management alike. Then workers and managers can adapt open systems for achieving the company’s development. The parts, the worker/manager, truly become a key to the whole, the company, family, etc… When one is successful in this pursuit, it brings a fulfillment and gratification on all levels of their functioning; materially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
It doesn’t matter what or how development is pursued in the workplace just that it is. Open systems are the best way of accomplishing this. It is better that restrictive procedures are kept to a minimum. Planning and organization structure are important but need to be tempered so that the workforce will not lose its creative and functional abilities. Direction, not judgmental-ism is a key attitude.
Opposition- If there are any certainties in today’s workplace, one of them is clearly encountering opposition. Opposition is a chief factor towards development. This is accomplished by several means. First, it is essential to realize that opposition or polarity, as science identifies it, is a way of life. It is inescapable! Any attempt to nullify it from daily life is, sooner or later, bound to fail. It is the rejection of opposition as a business and workplace reality which generates confusion, chaos, distrust and, failed business models.
One thing is for sure, wherever opposition exists, there are three possibilities. Two of them are recognized as right and wrong, good and bad or just positive and negative. The boss decides to cut lunch hour in half without additional compensation. They view this as a positive move for productivity while the employees view it as negative.
However, the third possibility is the complementary one. This is where the positive and negative join into a higher mutually serving procedure or mode. For instance, given the above example, the boss comes to realize that this move by itself will not increase productivity consistently. In fact, at this stage the boss realizes workplace animosity is hurting and creating stress on all levels. So, the boss outlines to the workforce his objective of greater productivity and then announces a ½ hour bonus plan dependent upon the achievement level.
Could there be further issues in this given situation? Of course! But, as each one arises, more complimentary items are introduced–this is development serving all interests.
Here are some ideas of what can be done to focus on development.
First- Understand that stress comes from not knowing and control issues. So the first thing employees need is to be informed. This may be something they can do on their own, or together with other employees, if not by the company.
Second- Speak up. Many times managers don’t realize what is going on with any number of workers. If you’re afraid to speak up, find different ways of communicating. For example, one can research surveys that support their position or whose findings can help circumstances. A good example of this was a survey conducted by the Business Research Lab in Houston, for a financial services company. The company was encountering a 55% employee turnover rate, annually. After a survey was performed showing that the company was not acting on suggestions and complaints, the company decided to take action on them. The first year, the rate dropped to 22% then to 14%. They estimated they were saving $2 million per year!
Third- Make a “deal” with the boss. Take them to breakfast, lunch, or a cup of coffee and see if you can understand their problems and goals and offer to coordinate better with those issues. Determine if he/she can be of assistance with your problems and goals.
Fourth- Ask management for regular feedback meetings. Top companies like Hewlett Packard and Shell have regular feedback modalities to help employees. Don’t be afraid to say something like “How about every Friday at 10am, you can vent yourself to me about my work–just let me know how you would correct or adjust to any issues”.
Fifth- Try to get them to make a change by making them think it’s their idea. “Boss, I hear you might be setting up a complaint website! I just want you to know that we think it’s a great idea! We are all behind this considerate and bold initiative!”
Lastly- Stress, conflict and numerous other issues of this sort emanate from one’s lack of objectivity and impersonal mind set. Business people, executives and professionals have that ability, for the most part. There is no reason why employees shouldn’t or can’t develop it. This is especially viable when development is the ultimate objective or mission.