Future-Proof Your Organization By Not Getting Stuck In The “Old Way” Of Doing Things
Today in a conversation something interesting came up. A younger worker was upset about her boss – specifically their style of management and expectations. It had nothing to do with the work, or the way the work was completed, but rather where.
The employee couldn’t understand why that minute detail was being micromanaged, and wondered out loud if her manager was stuck in an “old way of doing things” since she wouldn’t allow a flexible work arrangement that included a mix of in-office and work from home.
If we are all aligned with the goal ending ageism we need to agree on one thing – times change. They just do. And it has nothing to do with young or old, instead it simply has to do with now. How does the world work right now? What ways of working are gravitated towards? And if your company is fighting those ways, is there a solid reason why?
There will be innovative ideas that you will ignore. Maybe some of them are skipping out on having social media accounts for privacy purposes, or enforcing longer work hours rather than shorter ones in order to ensure effective global communications across time zones. However, we need to ask the question in each situation we find ourselves in – how do people want to do this work, today, and is that feasible.
If it’s feasible, but with changes – can you start progress towards those changes? No one expects change overnight, but they do expect growth. That goes for individuals of all generations. The problems come in when it’s a change that’s not simple, and requires a lot of effort – that’s when roadblocks go up by the people who have to do the work to clear the way.
The answer shouldn’t be to not try to clear the way. That’s lazy.
Decision makers should be open to new ways to make processes work – whether those processes are how work is done, where it is done, or something different. Refusing to try to see ways around roadblocks will perpetuate age-based stereotypes – that you aren’t willing to change, that you want to do things the “old way.”
Here are some steps to try if your office is fighting for change, and your organization can’t see a clear path:
Have An Open Dialogue
It’s important to have a conversation, especially when there are multiple perspectives. Have a town hall meeting or Q&A session to find out the direction future conversations should go in, and to get dialogue flowing throughout your organization.
Collect Survey Data
Having a conversation is a great way to get everyone thinking about a topic, but then it’s important to survey everyone to ensure that each individuals voice can be heard.
Pull In The Right People
Once you’ve had your conversation and have received direct results, be sure to pull in the right people to make next step plans and present multiple possible solutions to the problem you are trying to solve.
Graph Your Possible Solutions
Be sure to take all of your solutions and graph them according to least to most impactful and then from least to most difficult. You want to fall somewhere in the middle for each axis ideally.
Pull In More People To Help Get The Job Done
Organization higher-ups aren’t expected to do everything themselves, but they should be able to align the best people with the solutioned scenarios to get the job done.
Send Frequent Updates To Employees
Employees just want to know that change is around the corner, even if it’s far away. They want to know that movement is happening, and that you are listening. By giving continuous updates you prove that you listen, care, and want to give them wins.
Don’t become an ageist stereotype. Keeping your organization on the same path it’s always been on might seem like a win now, but by not changing with the times you will lose out in the future.
Future-proof your company by being innovative, understanding, and excited about new solutions – especially those that your employees are craving.