Things You Wish You’d Have Known

At home and in business are there times you’d wished you’d known some hidden information? Throughout my life and career, I’ve resented having information kept from me. One of my earliest memories of such a time happened before I was old enough to go to school.

“I’d like them to call me Uncle Hank, but they won’t do that.” Apparently, that’s what Mr. Carroll told dad. I was already calling Mrs. Carroll, Auntie Ethel. I remember the day she gave me a dime if I’d call her Auntie Ethel. For a little guy, in those days, a dime was a lot of money, but I’d have used Auntie Ethel without the bribe. If I’d known, I’d have used Uncle Hank as well.

Why do adults shelter children from the real world? I guess my dad wasn’t thinking Mr. Carroll had shared the Uncle Hank wish because maybe, just maybe, he wanted dad to get me to use Uncle Hank.

That’s not the only time, as a child, I was “sheltered” from information. Now I do believe some things should be kept from children; however, kids are far more aware of the world than adults tend to believe.

Treat Adults Like Adults

Move forward to life as an adult. Can you think of times you’ve been denied information? You know the excuses:

  • not the appropriate time to share,
  • it’s only on the need to know basis,
  • it’s unwelcome news, so let’s not share it yet.

In leadership, not sharing information is just plain dumb. Good news or bad news is better shared than kept secret. Give us credit. We like to know what’s happening and while we may be upset, or happy, with the news, we do want to know. You’re obviously familiar with the much-maligned or loved rumor mill. If you don’t share, the rumor mill will run at full speed. Okay, it will run at full speed anyway but with the full information, it has far less fuel to keep it going.

Share information. Understand a few things about information:

  • it can stifle insecurity in employees,
  • it can calm nervous waters,
  • and, more importantly, information can spark great ideas.

A solution to a problem may come from your employee. Make them part of the solution. Turn them into entrepreneurs who feel like owners and you will get committed, dedicated, high-performing employees who want the company to succeed.

Gallup’s New Poll

The Gallup organization has run polls for years which measure the percentage of employees who are actively engaged, not engaged or actively disengaged. In 2018 Gallup’s poll says that 69.5% of employees are still disengaged or actively disengaged. Gallup reported that only 34% of U.S. employees more engaged.

The good news in the statistics, the percentage of engaged employees is rising. According to Gallup, the changes didn’t happen by accident. “… successful organizations built a culture of high development experiences that led to high achievement. The culture shift was CEO- and board-supported and included continuous company-wide communication. Importantly, these companies educated team leaders on a new way of managing —relying on high development and strengths-based competencies. And they held managers accountable for these competencies.”

Communication Works

Notice, communication played a huge part in raising employee engagement. How well are you communicating within your company? How are you holding everyone, not just the managers, accountable for effective communication? And, how well are you communicating at home?

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