“Dissatisfaction” – as leaders, it is not a word we like to consider, particularly in relation to our team or work environment. But with so many variables that go into job satisfaction, it’s inevitable that “dissatisfaction” will crop up from time to time.
If you find yourself experiencing stagnation in your work, team, personal or leadership role, you’d do well to apply psychologist and author Adam Grant’s “Change Situation”, a practical framework that allows people to step outside of a situation and consider the options available to them.
In essence, Grant believes we have four options when faced with a problem: you can Exit, Voice (active), Neglect or Persist (passive).
By choosing to Neglect or Persist, you’re essentially checking out of the situation, by doing nothing or “grinning and bearing it”, it’s highly unlikely the status quo will change.
If you recognise that there is no other solution, then the best thing would be to Exit. To Exit, requires action and action is far preferable to stagnation or persisting with the status quo.
This leaves us with our final, and possibly most difficult option, but often the best option. To Voice your dissatisfaction, in a productive way to the right people at the right time, this takes action and courage, and by doing so, you stand to change the situation if your message is communicated successfully.
As leaders, it is our role to create an environment that encourages all employees to feel safe to Voice their opinions. We need to consider how we empower people who don’t like to speak up to make their Voice heard. Failure to do so could result in talented staff members succumbing to Neglect or to Exit, neither of which is good for business.
The philosophy of our founder, Dr. Kazuo Inamori of asking "What is the right thing to do as a human being?" is an integral element of every aspect of the business and he says “people may laugh when I espouse the sort of lessons we learned in primary-school. Yet, isn't that the reason why we're seeing such degradation of societal values and moral decay, a result of adults not being able to uphold and honour what we learned back then?”
The key message to all Kyocera staff and partners is to be courageous, make your Voice heard and take action.
These most basic principles of being a human being keep our working relationships healthy and our productivity high.