Leaders have the daunting task of setting vision. Often, what it really ends up being is a checklist of things employees can and can't do. These employees (aka blue-collar workers, laborers, hourly employees, etc.) who are in the trenches of the daily operations of a company are sometimes left behind when it comes to cultural/operational change that is in the works.
If an idealist in the workplace (in this context, let's call them an executive) is someone who does things based on principles and lofty ideas, the pragmatist (laborer) is someone who does whatever is deemed to be practical. In theory, executives have commendable ideas and plans, and their motives may even be self-less. In practice, they often come across as unrealistic and self-centered.
Both sides have to compromise. No one will get everything they want.
If your 'uppers' have failed you or you feel they just don't understand you, be patient. Try seeing things from their perspective. If it goes on for years, and there is no change, make sure your resume is updated and you have a good LinkedIn profile.
For the directors and executives out there, keep it real. Don't turn 'vision' into something it's not. Here are a few tips on closing the gap:
1. Address the elephant(s) in the room. Don't avoid problems, especially if they are reoccurring. Your team knows them. Tackle them head on and show your team that you are willing and able to help. Know what activities make up their 'daily grind' and pay attention to the squeaky wheel(s).
2. Repetition. This is your key discipline for changing or developing culture. What you do over and over will leave an imprint (good or bad). Repeat the vision. In meetings, emails, internal communication, etc., keep sharing what the future looks like in your new & improved workplace.
3. Care & Concern. Simply put, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care (thanks John). Care for the people on your team. Talk their language. Ask questions that are not just related to work. Be professional but make sure you are personable.
To be continued...
Biblical, on-the-go, tips for thriving at work. Written by Danny Kovacs, from first-hand wins & losses. This is the digital space where I share free resources and learning moments throughout the week/month.