Oh, man, you guys. I just had a good old-fashioned complain-a-thon with some people I will not further describe or identify, out of deference/privacy.
I have had this conversation many times before, but never with so many sharp, decisive young people who are so totally not interested in being mismanaged. They have some very high expectations. The refrains I heard most often was a desire to not be micromanaged and a desire to be allowed to “take ownership” over their work.
It was fascinating. These young women are too smart to be treated like underlings who are treated as totally replaceable (and openly told they will have opportunity to advance). It’s so interesting (and heartbreaking) to see how much they want to contribute, and how little they feel heard. They have ideas and are really passionate about sharing them. But the frustration they feel at not being allowed to implement new ideas is extraordinary. Their desire to produce work that is not edited or approved by (a chain of) other people is extreme.
They are also keenly aware of the “brand” of the organization they work for. They see organizational dysfunction as deleterious to that brand and to their careers. They see themselves as untapped resources that are being ignored and wasted, and they do not feel that they can have a positive impact on organizational culture.
This little “focus group” was so fascinating. Oh, wow, I am going to be thinking about this for a while. This is why we can’t always have lunch at our desks, you learn too much when you go outside the office.