Are Your Employees Lost in the Woods?

2048px-Strahlenbüschel_oder_Lichtbüschel_2 Cropped

I got lost in the woods on Monday.

Well, technically I knew where I was, I just underestimated the amount of time it would take to run a newly opened trail and I didn’t have any water with me. By the time I came upon a map to discover that I wasn’t even 1/3 of the way through I was dehydrated and exhausted, only to discover that the “quickest” way out of the park was to march back the direction I came.

On Tuesday, I dragged my sore body into the office and told my tale to my coworkers. We had a good laugh about it, and generally agreed that I should pay more attention to the trail markers and maps before I decide to go exploring.

I couldn’t quite come to terms with how eager I was to explore the new trail, and how that led me to make a key mistake when I read the map at the trail entrance. I didn’t realize what I was in for. Then, the trail went dark in terms of other markers and maps. I was desperate for information about my whereabouts but there were no markers to be found!

When I got the information I felt I needed so badly, I was frustrated because it meant I had spent a lot of energy headed in the wrong direction, my resources were depleted, and I wasn’t sure about how to move forward.

And that got me thinking…

I wonder how many EMPLOYEES get lost in the woods at work and never find their way out. 

Were they too eager in their new role to be receptive to feedback? Did the feedback dry up after they got past their first few months on the job? Did they finally get the feedback they came to desperately need, only to find that it meant their efforts were grossly misapplied?

Will they find the prospect of doubling back too much to bear and disengage, or will someone help get them back on track?

Will that someone be you?


Image credit: By böhringer friedrich (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 at (], via Wikimedia Commons

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