The Newfound Power of Employees: The Coming Rebellion

There is a Trojan Horse parked inside your organization, loaded with all of your employees and waiting for the moment to attack. Ignore the Trojan Horse and you’ll find yourself in a maelstrom that has the ability and desire to take you down.

Every organization is now being confronted with the reality of newly found power among employees. Whether it’s associated with the “metoo” movement or the levelling of the playing field where employees are taking to the internet to air their grievances, organizations are faced with challenges they’ve never experienced before and if not fully prepared to meet them, will find themselves dealing with consequences that will be out of their control.

Consider for a moment whether or not you have employed one of the following “solutions” to deal with employee discontent:

New processes, more systems, job descriptions, team building exercises, performance reviews, clear mission statement, performance improvement plans, new procedures, strategic planning, clear roles and responsibilities, changing the management structure, professional development, different systems, conflict management, emphasis on the culture, “one-on-ones” with managers, technology improvements, managing by wandering around, staff retreats, stated core values, workflow planning, employee training, benefits reviews, team days, holiday parties, motivational speakers, cross-function training, monthly celebration, open office environment, monthly newsletters, focus groups, procedures manuals, suggestion boxes or confidential report.

When you look at all of these “solutions”, ask yourself, which of them has produced for you, long-term, sustainable, meaningful improvements in the overall state of your employees’ well-being as well as the health of the organization? If you answered “none”, you’re not alone.

When you consider what the real issues are for employees, you can see why none of these “solutions” gets the job done. Consider that what employees want most 

  • is to feel heard, 
  • to be a part of the decision making process, 
  • to feel that their contributions matter and are valued, 
  • to feel some measure of power and agency, 
  • to have good relationships with their managers, 
  • to feel the lines of communication with management are open and welcoming, 
  • to feel included instead of alienated, 
  • to feel that management cares about them 

Employees want to feel that they are appreciated and they want to feel that they work in an organization that doesn’t allow for favouritism among management or staff. With these as the most important factors contributing to employee satisfaction, how can it be that organizations are still resorting to implementing these “solutions”? 

By Dr. Arlene Battishill, Co-Founder, Pre-Emptive Strike Consulting, Inc. and the co-author of Pre-Emptive Strike Leadership a book available on Amazon that talks about looking for hidden threats to your organization