Strategy is better than conflict.
An employee goes to their boss and complains that they need a raise, don’t get to do the projects they want, and doesn’t feel in general like they have the resources they need to succeed. The employee is a great asset to the team, and overall likes their workplace, but these things are becoming a problem for them. They don’t want to quit, and the boss doesn’t want to lose them.
But it’s already a conflict! These things need to be resolved, and there’s a great relationship under them – but they’re cause for alarm. Yet this is a bad way to address them. It’s already adversarial.
Now, imagine a different scenario:
The CEO sits down with their Head of People for their weekly digest. The Head of People shares some statistics: 45% of employees have made inquiries about different projects than the ones they’re being assigned, indicating a misalignment of workforce priorities. In addition, an unbiased comprehensive salary report indicates that the company is trending behind the market average, which might cause higher turnover in the near future. Because this is strategy-driven, non-adversarial, and unrelated to any specific employee, it allows the CEO to strategize solutions and actually implement them.
The difference is a system that allows the initial “conflict points” to be distilled into actionable strategy. The Head of People (or Chief Culture Officer, or CHRO, or whatever title they have) is an essential part of this system. Their existence alone encourages the team to voice their concerns, and their role is to consolidate those concerns into something actionable.
Everyone gets heard, efficiency is maintained, and a mutually beneficial relationship is enhanced. Win/wins all around as employee engagement and retention skyrockets and the true power of your organization is unleashed.
If you’re not doing something like this in your organization – why not?