So yesterday was National Boss / Employee Exchange Day. I’m not sure which nation this refers to but I suspect it is America. There seems to be a day for everything now. Who make these things up? What does swapping the boss and employee actually mean?
According to the blurb the day gives employees and their managers a chance to share ideas freely with one another by swapping places for a day. Through this it is hoped that employees and managers come to understand better and appreciate the challenges that each other have.
Yet how practical is this? Swapping roles for such a short length of time could spell disaster. Asking a manager to perform tasks that they may never have done, or at least not for a long while could be disastrous for productivity, while asking someone to step into a planning role without the relevant context could see them flounder and struggle. Both could shatter their confidence.
Reading some of the social media comments, which I hope were tongue in cheek, it would seem that the employees were looking forward to being able to tell their manager what to do. They would get the opportunity to boss them around. Whether they were joking or not this continues to reinforce the impression that managers are there to tell you what to do and workers are there to get on and do it.
This is not helpful at all.
My proposal then, is to have a day set aside where employers and employees spend time together exchanging ideas and learning more about their individual roles, where they work together to achieve the common objectives of the organisation rather than swap jobs. The managers will work to create the environment in which the employee flourishes and the employee will bring the skills and talents they have to solve the problems they face and improve the product or service they provide.
This day shall be called a working day and it will be celebrated on every day where people come together to achieve things.