I sure wish I had a silver bullet on this issue of the workplace and how to make it better. There are so many good writings out there, like this one on leadership and engagement by Christina Lattimer that shared a checklist of situations which might suggest that you step back and take a look at how things are working.
- There is a “them and us” attitude.
- Your organisation ethos is that employees ought to be grateful for a job
- Culturally it is ok to blame individuals or teams for what goes wrong.
- People are scared to say what they think, and you never ask them anyway
- You think you know better
- There is a culture of complaining and negativity
- There is a “business like” culture which squeezes out basic caring of people in the organisation and beyond
- Profit is king, values will be breached if the profit margin is threatened
- Policies and procedures do not take into account that people have lives
- Employees are not encouraged to learn and grow
It seems like a solid list, one that has a lot of things commonly found if you ask the workers. In my mode of Keeping It Stupidly Simple, I offer up this illustration as a general idea about possibilities and accountability:
Isn’t this whole issue mostly one of worker / supervisor relationships, trust and engagement that is influenced by a larger context of organizational culture? Can’t most things be addressed “locally” through a combination of communications and agreements, asking and listening, acting congruently with the values and things like that?
Why is this stuff so hard? And is it really that difficult to accomplish if we simply made different choices?
Your thoughts? Or, better yet, your commitment to do things differently?
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Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
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