Friday’s post discussed what technology habits we are modeling to our children at home. Today will examine how the technology habits corporate leadership models in the workplace effect workplace culture. After all, their behaviors are setting the example of how people in the company should act.
Picture your last work meeting. Chances are the highest paid person in the room was the first to take out their phone and start scrolling through emails. At least you think it was emails, chances are it was Facebook before they switched to emails. This set off a chain reaction where everyone else in the room started checking her phone. Very quickly few of the people in the room were actively engaged in the meeting.
Meetings where everyone is engaged typically end sooner as people work together to cover the agenda. Engagement also tends to form stronger team relationships.
How many times, in a meeting, have you had to repeat a question you asked someone that was on their phone or laptop? You may be able to hear the conversation going on in a meeting while reading things on your device but you’re not actually listening. If the people in the room with the most experience, and the highest chance of coming up with a solution to any problems being discussed at the meeting, are distracted they’ve either squandered the opportunity to mentor the team or wasted their own time attending the meeting in the first place.
Even worse than wasting their time is how their actions have made the other people in the meeting feel. Just like when you use your phone at the dinner table with your family, the people in the meeting feel like they are not important. Single tasking and being present are clear signs that you care about the people around you.
Is it really worth alienating people to catch up on emails? Give up on getting to inbox zero and start contributing to the conversation. Most people prefer to work for a boss who makes them feel important by listening and being present. Remember, people don’t quit companies, they quit because of how their boss makes them feel.