You came for the family-unfriendly. But you’ll stay (I hope) for the insight and action. The latter I’ve got. The former…well, this just isn’t that kinda post.
Today’s about the importance of the explicit. Not the kind we bleep. But the kind we see and hear. Out loud.
Here’s a thing that blows my mind. When I run Pulse Checks in organizations, it’s so common to hear employees wishing for things that their leadership swears are already present!
Employees striving to better Deliver, Develop, Connect, and Thrive wish…
- they had access to tools or info that leaders tell me live on their intranet
- they had opportunities to better connect, and leaders wonder why they don’t join one of the dozen Employee Resource Groups
- they felt safe in asking “dumb” questions or sharing outlandish ideas, while their leaders are wishing for those very questions and ideas to help guide them
- they could better set and hold boundaries, while leaders tell me they want nothing more than a team that knows how to log off!
In other words, too often the problem isn’t the absence but the invisibility of enablers of a great EX. They're there. But employees can't see them for what they are.
Maybe you’ve felt this as a leader yourself. Maybe you’ve thought “my team is clamoring for more feedback and coaching when some days I feel like all I do is give feedback and coaching!”
If so, ask yourself how EXplicit you’re being in the delivery of that development. Sometimes it’s not about doing more coaching but labeling more moments as such. Try something simple like “Thank you for bringing that to my attention, Jay. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to coach you.”
Why is this important? Because Jay may be looking for an appointment on his calendar that says “Coaching Session” and failing to realize that sometimes, organically and in the moment, you’re offering him coaching in small bites.
These are the types of connections we love helping our clients make. And so much of what comes through our Pulse Checks lands in this very category – the opportunity to make something explicit. Solving through connection rather than invention or addition.
If you’re a leader – of a team, a function, or an enterprise, I’d love for you to reflect on this. Where are you missing opportunities to help employees connect their own needs and wishes with solutions and programs already living and breathing in your organization?
What can you help make EXplicit for them? Here are a few steps you can take.
- Ask – invite your team to share what would most help them Deliver, Develop, Connect and Thrive (you can see the framework in this blog post)
- Listen – fully and really. Don’t respond or defend but truly make space for the big opportunities and pain points to be heard.
- Reflect – find the insight in their words. Read between lines. What changes do they want to see and what impact would those changes enable? And what already lives within your organization that could alleviate these pain points?
- Connect – Be EXplicit. Help your team find the things they may not know they are looking for, but will be delighted to land on once you point them there. Show them the programs, the policies, the networks, the LMS, the recognition programs, the meeting agendas…think wide and broad about what you’ve got access to that could enhance their experience right away
Related: Remember When Change Was a Choice?