How to reduce power distance in the workplace

Increased competition and continuous innovation for futuristic companies have resulted in reliance on critical thinking. Therefore, subsequently, this has led firms to reduce their power distance so that creativity, innovation, and critical thinking can foster and help firms grow in an ear of global competition and ensure competitive success. However, many firms still struggle with reducing power distance at the workplace as they don’t know how to deal with it.

Let’s see some of the tips firms can take to reduce power distance at their workplace – which essentially means breaking down the hierarchies, to flatten the pattern of communication so that creativity can foster.

1. Create forums for open discussion and for feedback: New age technology has the necessary power to bridge the space between individuals of different views, profiles, and standings. For instance, a citizen in a country can use any public forum to criticize or question any leader. In countries with low power index, such as Dutch firms, it is normal for managers to ask feedback from their subordinates. However, seeking feedback from subordinates in high power index countries such as India can be construed as a lack of authority. Hence, creating an open forum for discussion about projects should be encouraged at the workplace.

2. Better communication system: A technology-driven open forum can collapse the space between managers and subordinates. Such a practice can gradually encourage multilateral communication between different departments. However, managers might need to encourage their subordinates to provide feedback on their new and open approach and instil a confidence among them that such feedback would not result in a hostile reaction. Communication from top to bottom in an organization is rare and exchange of ideas in this ladder is almost non-existent. Therefore, the HR for such firms need to take the charge and work towards creating a better employer branding for the firm by encouraging open communication among all employees.

3. Encourage participation: Firms looking for a new branding should encourage an easily accessible knowledge portal where employees can display a high level of interactivity. Such a system can foster innovation and help in reducing power distance. This is because firms can find breakthrough knowledge which is often hidden in creative minds. By accessing a knowledge and open portal, firms can tap into the best minds and encourage creativity.

A lower power distance indicates that firms and employees working with them have better critical and power solving skills. It is, therefore, important to adopt a holistic approach to change the internal system of an organization.