Last week I had a long conversation with my friend Dana. She’s been in a new role for about 6 months and while she was speaking about her corporate life, she sounded lost.
Dana runs a healthcare facility that’s a branch of a large corporation. She’s responsible for talent acquisition, building facilities and maintenance, client relations and employee relations. It’s an enhanced office management role with a focus on profitability and customer service. While she doesn’t have an HR background, she has access to corporate HR support.
The reporting structure
Dana reports to a regional supervisor, a regional manager and a regional medical director. All are offsite and regularly travel. She’s learned that everyone has their own set of priorities and goals that are not consistent. So she’s expected to meet varying and changing expectations while navigating management styles and layers of bureaucracy.
How does a professional manage up with a lack of cohesiveness within the leadership goals along with a disconnect in communication? The regional management team isn’t on the same page relative to prioritizing their expectations both of Dana’s job functions and the management of her facility.
Since mixed messages became the norm, she took the initiative to suggest weekly conference calls for activity and informational updates. I thought this was a great idea because she was achieving two-way communication that was productive and offered a clarity for all. Clarity doesn’t have to exist 100% of the time but without staying informed of big picture goals, changes, shifting priorities and idea sharing, how can one perform well? While that did work for a brief time, the regional team was inconsistent with the calls which sent the message that this simple process of information sharing wasn’t a priority to them.
While it is Dana’s responsibility to make every effort for success in her role, is it reasonable to expect everyone on the management team to have mutual and consistent expectations?
aggressive proactive does Dana need to be to make sure that critical information that directly impacts her success makes its way to her in a timely manner?
There are plenty of other questions but these were a few that she and I discussed. She’s experienced in her industry and position yet she says she feels like she works in a fog and is sometimes the last to receive news and important updates.
This might be an easy to solve in theory but actually doing it is not. What got me thinking is when Dana said,
“I’m at a loss at what other steps I can take to stay on top of achieving our goals when I feel like I spend more time trying to stay in the information loop instead of being able to make a difference by doing my job.”
There is no perfect company and leaders are far from perfect but there is something to be said for having a simplified process. Folks should not have to fight to receive feedback and clear direction for the opportunity to make a difference within their organization.
What do you think?
Photo credit iStockphoto