I was with a client last week and got into a conversation after my coaching session with him. Discussing generally over a cup of coffee, he told me that senior leaders in his organization are not particular in approving/rejecting the leave applications they receive from their team members. The organization has provided the software where they receive the leave application on their cell phones as well as on emails and they have to spend a few seconds to approve/reject these. This software goes to an extent of auto approving the leave if supervisor doesn’t take any action for 4 days. It seems to be a user friendly service. He continued that the most of the leaders don’t get time to do this process and unfortunately most of the leaves from the team members where you are reporting to senior leader gets auto approved.
I have been hearing a lot about such things lately where a lot is blamed on the time quotient @work. It provoked me to think more about the scenario in hand.
Why People don’t care
I was deliberating with another colleague of mine that why leaders don’t care about these small things like considering leave applications. A couple of things came in discussion-
- Leaves are not “So Good” part of the job– Many people don’t want their staff to take leave. Many times team members feel afraid of going to them and even asking for leave; as they always have got the impression that leave is not ‘so good’ part. These people when become leaders may like to carry on with this thought to get into aura of so called “Strong leader”.
- Ego – If somebody have not come and beg for the leave, some leaders may like to ignore the application as her ego massaging has not been done appropriately.
- Technology matters more than the Human angle – A set of people don’t realize and are not sensitive about these small things. They are the ones who may be deadly passionate about a technology, a product or a deadline, and they just tend to overlook the human angle.
- Looking at others through yourself – Some people tend to ignore their personal lives and some are workaholics, may not like to take leave themselves. Many of them expect others to do and feel the same too.
Why does it matter?
- The wholesome person comes to work – Leaders tend to forget that they are not dealing with a robot. They are dealing with the wholesome person. If her mind is still waiting for the approval of leave and she is not sure whether you would approve or not, it is occupying her mind space and conversations. Some of these people may need to plan a vacation, book a ticket and even plan the spouse’s vacation. It may give some stress to the person. It certainly hampers productivity.
- Big or small, it doesn’t matter – Designations doesn’t matter here. People with small and big designations all need respect when they strike a conversation about leave and they deserve a closure on it. Leaders should encourage communication rather than giving an impression of not being interested in certain type of conversations. People with big designations may not indicate or may show, but it disturbs them too.
Small things change the world
Organization can provide intelligent infrastructure but need to coach their leaders on Emotional Intelligence and human angle to leadership to execute people related policies and services. Leaders need to recognize that they work with people, however intelligent your system and strategies are, if there is no human component, it’s going to fail sooner or later.
Organizations need a stringent follow up, fair feedback & action mechanism for these kinds of policies and systems as small things do matter and they drive the culture.