I’m passionate about mentoring and coaching people, and regularly make time for it in the midst of my busy schedule. One of the many reasons is because I always seem to get just as much out of it as the person I’m meeting with does – sometimes more!
For example, someone I met recently prompted a profound insight that’s incredibly relevant to the work I do with LINX WorkForce Innovations. This person was interested in transitioning into a corporate role and had been networking with employees at a wide variety of companies in the industry he was targeting. I won’t name the industry, for reasons you’ll understand in a moment.
Without exception, every employee he met with told him, “You don’t want to work here.” They shared story after story about work interfering with their personal lives, about political environments that made it hard to get things done, and about not feeling like what they did really mattered.
Understandably, this person was disheartened to learn the industry he was targeting wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. What a gift these people gave him! Now, he can either adjust his course or at a minimum, go into that industry with eyes wide open.
But here’s the bigger insight this spurred: unhappy employees talk ̶ loudly! It’s commonly understood that consumers who are dissatisfied with a brand share their experiences with others way more than satisfied consumers do. Well, employees are the consumers of the workplace. And, as demonstrated by the experience my networking friend had, dissatisfied employees have no problem telling perfect strangers to avoid an entire organization, an “employer brand,” if their own experience with it isn’t a good one.
What can we do about this as Human Resource professionals and organizational leaders? Take the time to truly understand the employee experience – which is very different from knowing the score from your employee engagement survey. It involves digging deep with employees and using those insights to make the improvements they want to see, not those the company thinks should happen.
Have you been on the giving or receiving end of negative feedback about a workplace? What did you learn from that experience? Please share about it with our community!
Julie is an executive with a proven track record for brand building and team building. She is skilled at leveraging disparate resources to unlock new insights and create human-centric strategies. She has held several client service roles in her career and is adept at working collaboratively to set clear goals and deliver on expectations.