Four Ways Leaders Can Create Equality In The Workplace
At your company, is everyone treated equally, or do leaders tend to get special treatment? And if you manage a team, do you typically interact only with other managers or do you take time to get to know everyone? Leaders should strive to create a workplace where everyone knows they’re valued—regardless of where they fall on the organizational chart.
Lorena Martinez, a consultant at Great Place to Work®, says that leaders who work to create equality in the workplace get significantly better results than leaders who practice traditional power dynamics. So, what can you do to foster an environment of equality at work? We share tips from Martinez in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
1. Show the same respect to everyone. Leaders can create a culture of equality by simply giving the same importance to everyone in their organization. This means remembering everyone’s names and interacting with people at all levels—not just other leaders. Martinez recommends that leaders adopt the mindset that they are not the “boss” but that they help facilitate people’s effort. Once you adopt this mindset, she says you can put it in play by using employees’ first names in teamwide meetings and giving likes and comments on posts to more people.
2. Initiate more formal and informal contact with employees. Employees may not feel comfortable socializing with their bosses or other leaders across the company. One way you can help change this is to engage in conversations that don’t involve work. Talk about their personal interests or shared commonalities, suggests Martinez. Look for ways to build personal connections during lunch or work breaks. This can shift the usual employee-boss dynamics and help leaders build trust with employees.
3. Request feedback. Everyone can benefit from insight on what they’re doing well and how they could improve. Martinez says it’s a good idea for leaders to genuinely ask for feedback on their leadership. This can provide a whole new perspective and shed light on a tactic or behavior that may not be working well. Ask for feedback from another leader. This person can address any potential shortcomings and help keep you accountable for making adjustments.
4. Don’t get too busy for your team. Much is required from leaders. While it may seem like there’s not much time left in the day to give to your employees, you should always prioritize them over other projects or initiatives, says Martinez. This simple tactic helps show that everyone on your team is important and that you have time for them. You can make yourself more accessible by blocking off time each day reserved specifically for visiting with your team members. Make sure your employees know they can come to you and that their concerns or questions matter.
Hierarchies exist in the workplace, but they shouldn’t dictate how leaders treat people. Leaders can work to foster more equality at work by treating everyone respectfully, engaging in more conversations with people, and asking for feedback from other leaders. They should also prioritize their team above other projects and demands on their time. By making a few intentional adjustments, leaders can create the kind of workplace where everyone feels valued and motivated to contribute.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Lorena Martinez is an Emprising™ implementation consultant at Great Place to Work®. She has a background in change management consulting and culture transformation.