Giving Juniors a Voice at the Table
When searching for a new job, we all have our own vision of what the ideal workplace would be like. While some look for a corporate environment, others want a more hip or casual environment. Some people like to work independently, while others want to collaborate with others and be part of a team. Personally, as a young professional, I wanted to work in an office where I could grow, be challenged and encouraged to share my voice and ideas. This is exactly the environment I found at MacPhie.
Recently, one of our clients provided feedback on her engagement with us and said that something she admired was when the Partner of our firm asked an Associate Consultant explicitly for their perspective in a meeting. The expectation at MacPhie, is that new team members, no matter their role are expected to actively contribute to conversations. We believe giving juniors a voice at the table, is central to the success of a team and organization overall . Here’s why:
Juniors have a high learning agility
When hiring a junior, often times, it will be one of their first roles. What’s great about this, is that they’re coming in with a fresh mind, ready to learn and less resistant to change. The way that you teach your juniors will become foundational for the way they perform and do their work throughout their entire career. This is something leaders can leverage as similarly to an infant who is learning everything for the first time, juniors are like sponges that are able to absorb incredible amounts of information.
Provide a fresh perspective
Remember Diamond Shreddies? In 2008, Shreddies was in a period where they were craving product innovation and more energy, when an intern Hunter, at the ad agency, raised their hand, and showed them a drawing he had created. It said “square Shreddies– boring”, “diamond Shreddies – exciting”. With this simple idea, a successful campaign emerged and Diamond Shreddies hit the market. The moral of the story is that you never know where the best ideas will come from. Allowing others to share their voice, even if they’re not part of your senior leadership team, provides fresh perspective that has the potential to revitalize your project and organization.
Eliminate the ‘us versus them’ mentality
Many organizations face the challenge of overcoming the ‘us versus them’ mentality, where there is a disconnect between team members. Encouraging employees at all levels to engage with one another and share their voice, helps to transform the ‘us versus them’ into a ‘we’. This will demonstrate to your employees that everyone should collaborate and support one another, and that you truly win as a team. We believe that leaders who encourage this type of environment, possess the confidence in themselves as a leader.
Allows for accelerated growth
When you set the expectation for juniors that they have to actively contribute to conversations, you unlock their capacity and give them the opportunity to grow. At MacPhie, one of our philosophies is that we are only limited by what we tell ourselves we cannot do. If you give juniors the chance to sit at the table and learn from their other team members, it’s amazing how fast they’ll grow and accelerate in their role.
Overall, it improves your culture
Friends and family ask me why I am motivated to come to work every morning and I always have the same answer – the culture that MacPhie has built gives everyone the tools to succeed. When I walk in the door every morning, I know I will have the opportunity to have an impact and feel that I am directly contributing to an important cause.
By giving juniors a voice, the culture that you build will be stronger and more loyal. Leaders that demonstrate trust and encourage juniors to raise their hand at the table, help their employees feel valued, engaged and confident in the work that they do. If you create a culture where employees are empowered and motivated to do their best, this will ultimately impact the success of your organization.
By: Talia Shapiro
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