I was at a restaurant last night and got chatting with the girl who was serving me. While she was very professional in her service and communication, I detected something was troubling her. After two questions and within about 60 seconds, I managed to uncover what her pain was and she talked openly about it.
There are two primary roads we can take in our view of staff.
- The Dis-integrated Model. They are here to do a job and they need to leave their personal issues at home.
- The Integrated Model. People are whole beings and work and personal are interlinked.
Our staff NEVER leave their personal issues at home. They might function in their role at work but thoughts and emotions still surface and can derail them during their days – thus distracting them, decreasing their ability to engage with customers and co-workers and decreasing their productivity overall. They can compartmentalise but still, complete detachment for most is impossible.
If however, managers treat staff as people, not just workers; if they tune in to those they’re managing; build a culture of humanness and trust and engage with their staff at both a personal and work level then there are higher chances of increased productivity and particularly loyalty. Some staff are closed books but many are open if they know that acceptance prevails.
A supervisor told me today: “I am being totally transparent and open with (my boss) about the challenges I am having.” That demonstrates the power of an integrated model where the leader treats their people as human beings, creating a culture of transparency and trust.
Staff pain. We can see it as either our ‘staff are a pain’ or that we honour the reality of their pain, using the opportunity to build greater rapport with them, helping diminish fear and driving both the well-being of our people and our organisation. Ultimately, everybody wins.