Increasingly, interactions between CEOs, business owners and their employees have switched from a top-down order of command to a more collaborative, symbiotic relationship. Communications technology has been a main driver of this trend, as email, social media and the near-ubiquitous mobile devices make everyone available at any time.
Indeed, a study from IBM confirms this observation. It surveyed 1,700 CEOs from around the world and across a variety of industries to gauge how they are changing the work environment. IBM found that the top-performing companies are 30 percent more likely to cite openness as a reason for their success. This transparency is often connected to the use of social media for innovation and collaboration.
Reflecting on the findings, Bridget van Kralingen, the senior vice president for IBM Global Business Services, said CEOs in general are more in tune with social media's implications.
"Rather than repeating the familiar lament about de-personalizing human relationships, this view leans heavily in favor of deepening them, and using dynamic social networks to harness collective intelligence to unlock new models of collaboration," she says.
How do you interact and communicate with your team members? Have you built an environment where all employees can express their opinions and work together to achieve solutions? Do you stay abreast of changes in the business world and use social media not only as a marketing tool, but as a means of interacting with your employees? Create a culture of transparency and visibility, and you may find that the relationship between managers and employees is improved. Additionally, team members' engagement levels may increase as they develop a better sense of what is going on in the company and an idea of how their involvement impacts the business.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all model for managing a team of business professionals and creating an organizational structure. Individual entrepreneurs must ensure they are designing their companies with several factors in mind, including mission, culture, client service, transparency and talent (the people who make the operations possible). However, it is wise to keep in mind that a shift is occurring across industries as a result of technology. Employees have come to expect greater transparency in their companies. Top leaders would do well to embrace the change.