That’s just the way it is

That’s just the way it is
Work colleague

That’s what one of my work colleagues said to me on my first day back since having two weeks off. Now people might hear that all the time, but in an organisation that prides itself on empowering its employees and in a team where we are used to defining Best Practice, Process and Standards, i.e. changing things when they aren’t working, it’s incredibly sad and demoralising to hear.

It’s not an isolated incident either, it’s something I’ve been hearing more and more of late, and from many different teams.

An employee should be empowered to be able to question what they do and how they do it, a company should promote the idea of influencing change in their organisation to all, although it really has to be more than the idea. It has to be real.

The employee is the one following the Policies, Practices and Process, they are the ones working through the job day to day, and they can see where the problems and issues are. Surely they should be able to return comment and suggestion on these in an attempt to try and improve them.

Sure, we’re going through internal changes, major restructures, etc, and this really does have the effect of disempowering the employees who have no influence on the restructure, but providing decent information to employees and making these changes fast will help to alleviate these feelings.

Yet this is more. Our team is being squeezed out of what they do, and much as the employees fight to keep control of what we know, we keep loosing ground. It’s not that we’re wanting to build some empire here, it’s that we genuinely are the experts for this field, and the only ones in the organisation, genuinely.

So what can we do? Nothing at all. We continue doing our work and struggle on watching as everything we’ve achieved slowly move away from our team. Okay, I may be being grossly unfair here, and things may change. All this feeling could be down to the restructures and it may appear that afterwards everything is fine and we get back to what we are doing, but…

It’s down to the old addage of comunication, information and the empowerment of the employee. Tell them what’s going on, and when they need to. I don’t mean when decisions are made for them, but when they have an opportunity to have an influence on those decisions, and genuinely give them that opportunity, don’t just say you are to appease them.

After all, they are the ones dealing with the day to day processes of how an organisation operates, they can see where changes can be made to enhance and make the operation more efficient. Listening to them is as important as listening to the customer.

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