What messages do your staff & colleagues really hear ?


 Woman Hearing

As we know actions speak far louder than the spoken or written word.   And we know that far too many company  ‘Mission Statements’ & ‘Employee Values Charts’ are hackneyed and inauthentic.  E.g. ‘We value our staff’,  ‘Our staff drive our success’   ‘Our teams are collaborative’ , ‘Nothing means more than employee satisfaction’  etc.  

And without doubt when first created, such sentiments were generally heartfelt and sincere.  

But as business romanticism fades, time marches on and commercial realities manifest, the ethos of such company value statements can become a distant memory.

But your staff and teams will be hearing and feeling company messages every single day  in some way.  So what messages does your staff really hear?   Peruse the  list below for a quick mid February check  of how your organisations  ‘rhetoric matches reality’.  Be brutally honest and where you see disconnect   – re-connect!   This will improve staff retention and elevate the EOC (Employer of Choice) status.   Remember that unhappy staff will walk away eventually – just like your customers will if they don’t feel ‘the love’.

Does Rhetoric Match Reality ?

Do you really VALUE them ?

There are 3 critical  areas that show staff  the ‘truth’ about how they are valued:

1. Salary/Benefits – are they paid well (ie not minimum wage) and rewarded for going the extra mile, given some meaningful benefits?

2. Office Space – does the equipment, cleanliness, office aesthetics and supplies etc reflect care about their welfare,  comfort and happiness?

3. Flexibility &  Understanding – is  flexibility and empathy shown to staff around their  health and family concerns outside of work ?  

Do you really TRUST them?

Trust is one of the  strongest  indicators of  management attitudes.   You have to trust your staff to do the job they were hired for and let them ‘fly high’ with support.   A workplace is not a jail yard  and you imprison people and thwart their creativity if you don’t ‘trust them’ .  As the saying goes “give them enough rope” – so give them the freedom to fly not hang themselves. 

Do you really ENCOURAGE  their contributions & ideas?

‘We have always done it that way’  would have to be one of the most abhorrent statements of all time.   Along with  ‘don’t question, just follow the process’ – both these responses kill staff spirit and any desire to contribute ideas.   There is a distinct line between staff who whinge without offering solutions  vs   staff who come to the table with a better way.   . A coachable & teachable workplace demonstrates how much value is placed on team culture and development.

Do you treat them as  INDIVIDUALS or Robots ?

Everyperson  brings different strengths and skills. And the pathway an individual achieves their results  should be given some degree of freedom.   To stymie an individuals’ methods and work  style to reach success is to dull an entire teams ‘intellectual group think tank’.   Give the goal posts and support to let people be individuals not  robots.  The more successful methods  will be assimilated by other staff and the whole team will flourish.

Do you treat them as a TEAM ?

Being authentic and transparent with your staff and colleagues  is one of the cornerstones of being a ‘team’.  If you are not direct and real with your staff you don’t have a team – you have a regime.  Ongoing commercial challenges, business downturns, redundancies and staff movement is an ongoing reality.   Your team has to know that you have their backs  and are upfront with them. You need to minimise ‘unpleasant company surprises’ to build team trust across all communications where possible.   Integrity of messages is crucial. 

Make sure you what your staff and colleagues hear is what you mean to convey to build solid teams and trust.


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