Captain High Top can be your Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, President of the company any individual who is at the top of your organization. As for the Non-Responder, well I think that is self-explanatory. In all seriousness, have you ever worked for Captain High Top the Non-Responder? Nothing frustrates a high performing team more than a leader not responding to their questions, especially when Captain High Top has asked them to work on a project or put together a proposal. In most cases communication needs to happen during the process and before a finished product can be presented.
If you are Captain High Top the Non-Responder and are reading this consider what the lack of response does to your team.
1. Demotivates. Employees are smart. They will quit banging their head against a wall after trying to reach out to no avail. One of two things will happen, either they will press forward without your input, which could result in a finished product that you do not actually want (point finger inward), or the project will die again (point finger inward). Not responding to your employees and then getting upset with them for not producing the product that you want is a sure-fire way to increase your employee turnover or at the very least, decrease employee morale.
2. Creates a negative culture. Frustrated employees are vocal employees, this affects your entire team and if it persists you may see your culture start to slip.
3. Negative impact on recruiting. Frustrated employees are also vocal out in the community. This could negatively impact recruiting efforts as no one want to work for a Non-Responder.
As an employee, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation?
1. Try having a conversation with your Non-Responder. It is possible that they do not realize that they are doing this. Explain how this impacts the workflow, productivity, and completion of projects.
2. Try alternate forms of communication. If they do not respond via e-mail maybe they are better when you send a text message, or have a standing meeting to recap the week’s events allowing you to get the information that you need to move forward.
3. If none of the above work, it may be time to find a new Captain. As the old saying goes, “People don’t leave organizations. People leave people.” You may find yourself needing to move on to be successful in your career.