Divya heads HR at Isle Management and is in discussion with her management team on their annual employee survey results. They are dismayed by what they read. They invite their business leaders to decode the findings. Here is an excerpt from their conversation. I invite you to share your views on this case.
Divya: “It is difficult to comprehend that our managers are not motivated enough. We do so much to engage them all around the year and they are the face of the organization for their teams.”
Tony (IT head): “I agree. We provide industry leading benefits and offer opportunities to progress in their careers. What more can anyone ask for?”
Isabel (Finance leader): (nodding her head) “Completely agree. There is so much of investment we make – sending them for seminars, conferences and trainings. Despite that they feel they are not engaged enough. I don’t get it”.
Violet (business partner): “I have spent months explaining how we can look at last year’s findings and make the workplace come alive. We do so many engaging activities, support the business with insights to improve connection – yet….(her voice fades).
Anil (strategy head): “It is an unhealthy sign. Indicates that leaders are not sufficiently motivated to lead their teams. We have shown them where we are heading as a company and what we expect of them. What more can be expected?”
Divya: “Thinking aloud – why don’t we call for a leadership meet?”
Anil: “What will we achieve?”
Divya: “It will be good to get them away from the workplace, get fresh perspectives and open their minds to newer ways of engaging”
Tony: “But how?”
Divya: “By inviting an inspirational speaker from outside to address our leaders!”
Violet: “What a wonderful idea. How clever!”
Anil: “I like it. Let us do this. I am sure people will love to be motivated. We tried and it didn’t work. So hopefully, someone else can.”
Isabel (sounding apprehensive): “Sorry folks, I am not sure about this. What will happen after this person speaks?”
Divya (looking offended): “What do you mean Isabel? The speaker will inspire our leaders and they will go forth and inspire others”
Tony: “Yes, if we get Milind Kumar, the expert sociologist who studied how people interact in different cultures or Michel Rotwik, the futurist who can read your future by looking at your nails or Kanishka Godbole, the renowned doctor who has performed multiple heart surgeries and is listed as a Tinkle Book of Records holder. Or even, Karthik Pillai who ran the 20km marathon backwards”.
Isabel (looking in disbelief): “You sure?”
Tony: “It will work– I can see how our leaders will emerge mesmerized, committed and energized by this interaction. They will then be able to apply insights to engage their teams”
Isabel: “Hmm, I am not sure though.”
She excuses herself from the meeting and walks back to her desk thinking if what she heard was really true. This group is thinking of calling an external speaker who will inspire their leaders? She wants to discuss this topic again with Divya and revisit this thinking altogether. Is her feeling unfounded? Will this really not work? What do you think?