Relationships at Work - The Leadership Mindset Guide to Creating a Workplace We Love

Why Trust Outsiders Before Insiders? - A R@W Note

November 09, 2023 Russel Lolacher Episode 110
Relationships at Work - The Leadership Mindset Guide to Creating a Workplace We Love
Why Trust Outsiders Before Insiders? - A R@W Note
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher wonders why organizations prioritize the feedback of outsiders before insiders, and shares the steps to show we value our employees first.

Leaders can be odd. We will talk about employee retention, engagement and empowerment but then turnaround and listen to the feedback of consultants before their own teams. And sometimes those same teams have been sharing that feedback for years, but leadership will act like they're hearing it for the first time. 
This can make employees feel undervalued and minimized. Let's do better.

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Welcome to Relationships At Work – the leadership guide to creating a workplace we love.  I’m your host Russel Lolacher

I’m a communications and leadership nerd with a couple of decades of experience and a heap of curiosity on how we can make the workplace better. If you’re a leader trying to understand and improve your impact on work culture and the employee experience, you’re in the right place.

Every week on the show, I talk with a local or global leader on topics that are help to you to improve the workplace. We’ve tackled so man topics: negativity, culture renovation, plain language, imposter syndrome, diversity, communication, empathy, activism, burnout, mental health, and so many other topics. 

And now, as an added bonus, I’ll be sharing an additional episode pulled from the pages of our weekly R@W Note which you can subscribe to.

A quick and valuable bit of information on top of our regular show.

So the R@W Note I’m passing on to you this week, is called…

Why Not Trust Others Before Ourselves? 

Do you ever see how an organization talks. Operates. Leads. And you can’t stop scratching your head as why they do what they do?

Yeah, me neither. 

I've always found it so odd that organizations will talk of hiring the best, prioritizing employee empowerment, and all things about how great their teams are... 

And then when it comes to new ideas, constructive feedback or highlighting existing issues, they ignore those exact same staff in favour of hired consultants.

Now I’m not pooping on consultants. I’ve worked with some amazing ones that only improved the work and the environment I was in. However, it is odd this happens. 

This isn’t industry specific. It’s this reoccurring theme where employees share their concerns and ideas, which are ignored or minimized or kicked down the road…but when a consultant comes in, often paid much more than the employees are, and says the exact same thing the employee said. The same ideas, the same concerns. 

Leadership suddenly stands up and says it’s the most important thing and "why weren't we doing this all along?" like they’re hearing it for the first time.

Sound familiar? I've heard this on and off over time.

And employees see this and feel undervalued for it.
 Why didn’t they ask me. I would have told them that 3 years ago? 
 I told them that over and over again. Oh sure but now they listen.

I get it to some degree. The company’s believe that consultants have special expertise or fresh eyes that their employees don’t have. So they carry more weight. 
 Or maybe it’s as simple as “we paid them to find or fix a problem and they did.”  

But to an employee it makes it seem like we trust the words of outsiders more than our own staff? Whether real or perceived, it can seem that way.

So how do we address this. Consultants aren’t going anywhere. But employees will go some where else if they don’t feel like they’re valued. 

Let’s today focus our efforts on those we’re responsible first, so they do feel like their efforts and opinions matter. Because they do. 

1.    Invest in employee development: By providing opportunities for training, mentoring, and career advancement, we can show that we are committed to our employees' growth and development within the organization.

2.    Provide competitive compensation and benefits: Offering fair compensation, benefits packages, and perks that prioritize employee wellness can demonstrate that we value our employees' contributions to the organization.

3.    Seek employee feedback and input: Asking for and acting on employee feedback can demonstrate that we value their input and are committed to creating a positive and collaborative work environment.

4.    Prioritize employee recognition and appreciation: Recognizing employees' contributions through awards, public recognition, and other forms of appreciation can demonstrate that we value their hard work and dedication to the organization.

5.    Listen actively and intentionaly: As leaders, if we take note of the ideas and feedback of our staff, and check back in with them, it might help those comments be more top of mind. That way if we hear those ideas/feedback again, we may actually remember we'd heard it before.

Consultants can add a fresh perspective on existing problems, but we also need to understand that our own employees have been working with these problems far longer. 

We just need to keep that, and them in mind, if we want to retain that experience.