The brutal killings of several journalists in France last week remind us of one of the most important tenets of our society, that of freedom of speech. As millions of people from across the world responded in a multitude of ways to the events that hit France; however, this also made me reflect upon its context within the corporate environment.
What are those basic tenets of the organisation that it is most important for us to stand up for that protects our ability to perform to the best of our abilities and therefore to enjoy the liberty of the workplace. Here are some of the ideas that I have come up with – perhaps you can add to these too:
- Freedom to share your thoughts on the future of the organisation. How often do we get asked to share our perspective on the organisation that we work within and therefore know so well. Particularly as new managers and leaders enter the business, do they take time to listen to those who have driven the success of the organisation in the past and use these perspectives to help shape its future.
- Freedom to understand the purpose of our work. One of the most important, and yet often most undervalued, motivators within the workplace, is our understanding of the context of the work that we do. How does what we do fit into the bigger picture and how does it contribute towards the success of the organisation and, indeed, to society as a whole?
- Freedom to bring your best to work. How many of us understand what we are truly best at and get the opportunity to being this to our work on a daily basis? Being aware of, leveraging and developing our strengths in the workplace is critical to our motivation and success.
- Freedom to take get on with your job and the outcomes that you are expected to produce. How many of us are victims to the micromanagement of supervisors who want to direct and monitor our every step in accomplishing the expectations of our role.
- Freedom to own your own development. Taking charge of your development within the context of the priorities and expectations of the organisation for someone in your role is critical to your own well-being as well as career development.
These are just some of the basic tenets that we see being contravened through the work that we perform for our clients and, of course, that come at a price as a result. While we might not agree with the specifics of the way in which individuals express their freedom’s it will always be critical for us, as individuals as well as organisations, to separate out the principle’s that these freedoms uphold and protect them with every fibre of our being.
For each of us working within organisations we need to be clear about the freedoms that we expect and ensure that we each play our part in not losing sight of these as a result of the inappropriate actions of others.