Today is #BossEmployeeExchange day, which is a chance for employers to discover what their workers are thinking about.
When I think about management and workers exchanging roles, the image that pops into my head is the Undercover Boss series on TV – a concept that only works because people are too polite to point out when someone’s wearing a wig.
Thankfully, you don’t need this prince-and-pauper style set-up to have a #BossEmployeeExchange. What you do need, though, is to be willing to have an open dialogue where staff can raise questions and concerns without worrying about repercussions down the line.
We’ve gathered some topics that bosses may encounter and on which they could take practical action (which is why salary isn’t on the list – that’s a separate issue):
Work-life balance has turned into work-life blend; we’re always at work and accessible. But for employees to feel good about their job, their time must be respected. Maybe that’s through flexi-time, child-friendly working hours, or some other plan that meets their personal needs.
Everyone needs a manager, but not everyone likes to be managed. Empowering staff with autonomy, trusting that they’ll make the right decision and giving them responsibility, makes a big difference to morale.
How often do you say thank you to staff? Do you take the time to let them know they are doing a good job and you think highly of them? Humans need to be appreciated.
Fact: figure skaters who fall over more in practice do better in competition. Why? Because they are pushing the limits of their talent. Staff need to be challenged to feel like they’re growing – and mistakes should be taken as a sign of that growth.
Employees want to feel that their ideas can take flight. That one insight, that single change to process that could save money and improve efficiency, might be hiding somewhere in the building. Innovation is just as easily found in the stockroom as in the boardroom – you just have to listen out for it.
If people can’t see a path ahead, they get frustrated. Whether that’s one that leads to a new role or new skills, they need to feel there’s somewhere for them to go. Ducks like treading water, but humans don’t.
We’ve found these six talking points, but what other ones are there? If you’re an employee, you might have other ideas on how you can benefit from a powwow with your boss. Tell us in the comments!
#BossEmployeeExchangeDay brought up so many interesting office life topics. Learn more about them: