When I hear employees lament that no one keeps them informed, it’s a red flag alert of victim thinking. Each individual has a responsibility to seek out information and take ownership for staying informed. Emails, memos, town hall meetings, newsletters and department meetings are just a few of the methods used to keep employees up-to-date on current events in most organizations. And despite all of these methods, there are still individuals who feel slighted – like they’re the only ones being left in the dark.
In my previous jobs within health systems, I was the person responsible for planning and executing strategic communication plans. It didn’t matter if we had had five or fifty-five different notifications about an issue, someone would complain that the information hadn’t gotten to them. That is understandable if you sit back as a passive recipient and expect information to be fed to you.
I encourage every organization to have behavioral standards that set forth expectations for customer service and teamwork. One standard that is often overlooked is one that sets the expectation that individuals take responsibility for staying informed. This level of ownership is the difference between victim-think and active engagement.