The Four R's of Today's Successful Workplaces
Dr. Kay Krohne
Leadership, at its core, is a relationship. Without followers, there can be no leaders. The process of how leader and follower interact to produce a product or serve a customer ought to be the central concern of organizations. The leadership relationship goes far beyond management of the status quo or the exchange of labor for paychecks; it envisions a future where men and women work cooperatively together as professional equals, equals who treat one another with dignity and respect.
Professionals who respect one another's talents and skills as well as each other's rights and responsibilities are the backbone of successful 21st century organizations. Members of these organizations know that rapid change requires a clear mission, shared values and, most importantly, teamwork.
Workplaces that encourage employees to be integral parts of the team - a team that is based on mutual respect and confidence - generate the productivity and creativity that allow the organization to soar to new heights in an environment of constant change. The challenge, then, is to build strong, loyal relationships that build synergy: the cooperative power which enables organizational teams to achieve far more working together than many more individuals can by working alone.
Respect is the mortar in building strong, cooperative relationships. Respect for each other's abilities must be combined with an appreciation for the responsibilities and rights inherent in the roles assigned to each member of the organization. Employees owe respect to organizational values and rules, but find it hard to honor those obligations if organizational leaders fail to model and respect the standards they encourage others to meet.
An organization that values its people fosters trust and pride, two of the touchstones of productive teams. Organizational members who respect others' strengths and differences generate a climate where trust and pride are reinforced. This kind of an environment helps people to explore new and more effective ways of solving problems or, even better, of avoiding them.
Although the focus in the 90's has been employee rights, employers also have prerogatives. Among these prerogatives are the right to expect a fair day's work for a fair day's pay and the right to set and enforce high workplace standards. To the extent that organizational leaders exercise these rights, professional relationships are strengthened.
It is clear from the many lawsuits that have made headlines in recent years that employees also have rights and are willing to employ them in the absence of respectful workplace relationships. Certainly, employees have the right to work in an environment free from intimidation, hostility and offensive behavior. The keys, however, to ensuring those rights are not violated is mutual respect and responsibility.
Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin. If each employee has the right to work in an environment free from fear and harassment, each employee also has the responsibility to help create positive working relationships. Today's organizations expect the leader to set high standards for workplace relationships, but each individual must then be responsible for meeting those standards.
Non-verbal and verbal behaviors that a reasonable person would find offensive or intimidating are simply inappropriate at work. Leaders and team members alike have a responsibility to take action to establish a workplace in which trust replaces hostility and pride replaces prejudice.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Help your organization to build stronger and more productive relationships; to respond positively to rapid change; and to meet the challenges of the 21st century. THE KROHNE CONNECTION can assist you in developing executives and employees who understand and actively use the 4 R's.
Are you uncertain about the attitudes and concerns of your employees? Do you already have a problem that needs fixing? Let THE KROHNE CONNECTION tailor a climate survey to your requirements and develop a customized training program that meets those identified needs.
CALL (619) 435-6388 or FAX (619) 435-3667 us today! You and your employees will be glad you did.
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