I know a guy who has worked for a multinational corporation in a sales and customer service role for over 20 years – today at an executive level. He has made the company tens of millions in revenue. We are talking an employee that sells $1M worth of product per month, ten months out of 12 every year, for at least the last decade.
And yet, they have no idea who he really is.I have spent a lot of time with Jamie Notter – jamienotter.com – talking about the need for organisations to shift from the mechanistic approach to leadership and management to a more human one (hat tip – http://www.humanizebook.com/). In the context of this discussion it makes me sad, then mad, that this company can not see the frustration this employee is experiencing, let alone provide support to him, as he seeks the opportunity to expand his professional horizons.
It reminded me to look up one of Jamie’s blog posts and I really like this statement:
People will work harder when they are able to be their whole selves. They’ll be more effective when the work they are doing connects to their own personal growth and development. People are at their best when they are fulfilling their destinies.
The career transition this guy is passionate about is to a supplier of theirs yet both the supplier and my friend know that there would be significant retribution from the corporation if that transition happened. How sad it is to have a reputation among your employees and suppliers governed by their concerns about retribution?
There is an enormous opportunity for this company to support the transition of their employees into new careers and benefit from their experienced personnel working for a major supplier. It ticks a lot of boxes.
Regardless of whether you have 20 employees or 2000 or 20,000 they are all individuals who if allowed to be themselves, their whole selves as Jamie mentions, at work would be so much more effective. I for one would much rather have everyone working effectively because they are happy and engaged not fearing retribution for wanting to talk about their aspirations in career and life.
Getting to know your team one-on-one is so easy, meaningful and personally and professionally rewarding. It should be the mainstay of any management role in the 21st Century. What do you think?