Would duct tape have saved the Titanic?

 In Business Coaching, HR

Sending your crew into the hold of the Titanic with rolls of duct tape to cover over the holes in the ripped hull is how I feel when I see HR and IR personnel dispatched to fix situations which should have never occurred in the first place.

Illustrated to me vividly is a practice still rife in many a workplace, and that is the lunch time charade. If you want to gain sucky-up points with the boss, you rarely take your lunch break, working so hard, (usually reading emails which you have been unnecessarily cc’d into), tut tut at anyone who takes their allotted lunch break, and again ensure that the boss sees that she has taken her lunch break, and here is poor me working so hard. Poor me! Aye, right!

Then there is the other worker who still hasn’t had her lunch and it is 20 past 3 in the afternoon, and her blood sugar is so low, she does the unforgiveable – she makes a mistake! Oh my, what a surprise! Doh!

Then we wonder why we have problems in the team!

It appals me to think that this is still going on well into the 21st Century!

We are human beings. Not human doings. We are not robots! Treating people well is not just a luxury for wealthy companies; it is a basic human right.

Inevitably, this occurrence plus many other unethical and often illegal practices end up in Industrial Relations Courts, and employers often protest bitterly about how hard done by they have been treated in the judgments handed down.

Facts are that some workplaces are so toxic, that the only way to fix them, is close the place down and start again with a completely new culture.

Why did Peter Drucker all these years ago state that ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast?’ I have thought about that powerful statement many times, and it is as true today as it was away back then in the 1970’s.

Before you get all excited about where your company is going to go, dreaming of that hockey stick graph of your profits and the ego feeder – the turnover, have a look at your culture. Most workplaces I have worked in, could have done and made huge changes to their culture which would have reflected in much increased profits through an engaged happy, HEALTHY, stable and reliable workforce.

When I walk into any establishment, straightaway I notice and feel the culture whether it is good or bad. This is not a myth. Observe for yourself and see what you notice.

The problem with workplace culture is that it can change very rapidly indeed. An ill-thought comment to a team member can disrupt the dynamic of the entire workforce like a bad flu virus. It is contagious, as is a great team culture. It is the little things that count. Ken Blanchard speaks of it in his timeless classic – The one minute Manager – as one minute praisings. When was the last time you quietly mentioned to a steady hard working reliable employee that you have observed how reliable and well that they are doing, or are you like the seagull; fly around in a hurry peck here and there, and finally s*** on them on the way out eh?

The problem always starts with the head of the fish. If the head is rotten, the whole fish is rotten. No different in business, and it starts and ends with taking 100% responsibility for everything that you do and say.

If your net profits are not where they should be, and you are prepared to change the way you think, I’d love to hear from you, and see whether you and your business would be a good fit to work with us.

Because a great culture leads the path to a great bottom line, as well as a healthy happy engaged team.

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