“I’m passionate about people. I’ve spent my life in advocacy. People matter-whether or not we agree on the issue, people matter.” —Ann Marie Buerkle
Your people matter; they are your greatest asset. When employees don’t feel they have someone in your organization advocating for them they feel as though they are not valued. If you don’t think having an advocate for your employees, here are three reasons to rethink your attitude.
It’s hard to get a clear view from the top
It’s hard to get an understanding of what your employees are dealing with when you are sitting at the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Even when you have risen through the ranks, eventually you forget what life was really like on the front line. An employee advocate can provide the reminders that you need so that you can put yourself in the shoes of your employees.
You want to believe that your management has everyone’s best interest at heart. The truth of the matter is, there are hidden agendas being pursued from every corner of your organization, even yours. An employee advocate promotes transparency in management. It makes it much harder to hide and ignore the hidden agendas that may not be in the best interests of your employees.
Demands on time and energy
You do not have the time or energy to focus on the needs of each employee on a daily basis. As a leader, your attention is spread from the biggest of pictures to the smallest of details. This makes it impossible to commit the time and energy necessary to give each employee your attention on a continual basis. The role of an employee advocate is to be the go-between between employees and management. It becomes the responsibility of the advocate to give employees a voice and to direct management attention to where it is needed the most while ensuring employees that they are being heard.
Easy to do, easy not to do
Giving your employees an advocate is easy to do but, it’s also easy not to do. It is easy to take employees for granted and to forget that they need someone who can give them a voice. While it is easy to understand how the bottom-line benefits when employees feel valued. It is also easy to dismiss the role of an advocate as an unnecessary position. Your people are the key to your success. They need someone dedicated to advocating on their behalf. Think about how hard it is to get a clear view from the top. Recognize you’re your organization is riddled with hidden agendas. And, admit that you already have enough demands on you time and energy. Giving your employees an advocate is easy to do and easy not to do. Are you ready to commit to giving your employees the advocate they need?
© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.