That’s not my job!

“It is the behavior of your company and its people that form your reputation, and your reputation is your brand.” – Dave Allen

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In my previous blog I talked about the importance of organizational culture with leadership as the role model. But if you think about it, employees also influence organizational culture and must do their part to help improve it. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; “Seriously, have you been to my office? People are miserable. Half of them say ‘that’s not my job’. How am I supposed to change that?”

While it can be very challenging to change a coworker’s work ethic, especially when leadership is lacking, there are some things you can do. Even though it may be extremely frustrating to watch a coworker constantly slack off, it’s best not to let it get to you. Concentrating on your own work and improvements that you can make should be your main focus. I know this is easier said than done, but when it comes time for yearly evaluations/bonuses, they will get their just desserts. It’s hard for a slacker to prove they deserve a bonus if they don’t have anything to show for it.

However, if a coworker claims “it’s not their job”, when it truly is, you should inform them of this, especially if it interferes with your work. A coworker may not actually be aware of how this affects your work, so you may need to explain this to them. Just be careful not to lecture them. Lecturing creates animosity and puts people in a defensive position. Put yourself in the other person’s position and explain to them that the work they do is important and why it’s important. Sometimes just taking the time to really talk to a coworker can really make a difference.

Everyone in the company regardless of their position should be working together to improve things even if it isn’t something they normally work on. Yes, they may have been hired to do a specific job, but every employee contributes to the success of the organization regardless of what their job title states. And unless there is some company policy stating that they cannot help their fellow employee with a job, there is no reason why it cannot be done. Teamwork is vital if employees want to improve their organizational culture.connect-20333_1280

According to the Tiny pulse 2014 Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report, “Peers are the #1 influence, not money, in driving fellow colleagues to go the extra mile”. That being said, employees should encourage and support one another and not fall into the negativity abyss. Yes, I know this is not always easy, but even baby steps can make a difference. Employees should also try collaborating more across divisions. Just getting another person’s perspective on something might lead to a solution to an issue that’s been plaguing your department. Get out of your comfort zone and test the waters. You might actually like what you find. And if not, at least you made an effort, which is better than doing nothing at all and being completely miserable.

 “Great companies have leaders all over, not just at the top.” – Rob Goffee

 

 

Sweet Managerblogspot.com Ten quotes about Company Culture. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from http://sweetmanager.blogspot.com.  /2014/03/10-quotes-about-company-culture.html
Tinyhr.com. THE 7 KEY TRENDS IMPACTING TODAY’S WORKPLACE. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from http://www.tinyhr.com/2014-employee-engagement-organizational-culture-report

Blog Post #3 Improving Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is defined as “the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization” (Businessdictionary.com, 2014). Okay, so what does that really mean and why should I care? Well, organizational culture affects all aspects of the organization with leadership serving as the role model. An organization’s performance, productivity, service/product quality, marketing, customer service, attendance and punctuality are all impacted by organizational culture. For example, if leadership is always late to work in the morning, blows off meetings, or rewards bad or unethical behavior, that behavior trickles down to the rest of the organization.domino-163523_1280

Leadership sets the tone for the organization. If you have a leader who cannot be bothered by daily administrative processes or doesn’t seem the least bit concerned that the same couple of employees continuously show up late to work then you have poor leadership. This is quite detrimental to organizational culture. Office morale deteriorates as the culture becomes more toxic. Some employees may start to slack off as they do not feel what they do really matters, while other employees may take advantage of the situation and push their own personal agenda ahead of the organization’s needs. This can be draining on all employees and can directly impact a company’s success. Employees should look forward to going into work and not dreading it.

“Organizations do not transform unless people at the top of the organization adopt new values and change their behavior. The organizational culture reflects the personality of the current leadership and the legacy of personalities of its previous leaders.” – Richard Barrets

Okay enough with the negativity. What I really want to know is what can leaders and employees do to improve organizational culture? Well, leadership needs to start by communicating their vision and keeping channels of communication open as transparency is key. When leadership doesn’t communicate the organization’s objectives, latest initiatives, and company performance, employees often surmise what’s really going on. This is how falsehoods and negativity begin to circulate. Updating employees on what’s going on within the organization and emphasizing how important their roles are will provide employees with a sense of ownership, ultimately resulting in a more positive culture and dedicated employees.more transparency business-257881_1280

Leadership also needs to encourage feedback from employees as they are the ones on the front lines interacting with the clients. They know what is working and where improvements are needed. Additionally, leadership needs to invite new ideas, encourage creative thinking and really take note of what employees have to say. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that this the best or only way of doing it. This is just another way to encourage employee ownership.

Employee issues and concerns should also be addressed by leadership and not brushed under the rug. Leadership should keep employees informed of the progress being made regarding any issues or concerns as these problems may impact clients as well as the company’s bottom line.

Acknowledging employee contributions and rewarding achievements is another way leadership can contribute to a positive organizational culture. Employees don’t like to be taken for granted, nor should they be. Leadership needs to recognize those employees who go above and beyond and positively contribute to the organizational culture.

Now for employees… to find out more you will have to tune in for my upcoming blog post titled “That’s not my job”.

 

Business Dictionary.com. (2014). Organizational Culture. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organizational-culture.html#ixzz3J367uNin
Matheson, C. (2013). 6 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Culture. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://www.businessbee.com/resources/operations/hr-management/6-ways-to-improve-your-companys-culture/
Morell, K. (2011). 6 Ways To Create A Positive Corporate Culture. Retrieved November 17, 2014 from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/6-ways-to-create-a-positive-corporate-culture/

Blog Post #2 The Importance of Leadership

A Fellow doesn’t last long on what he has done. He has to keep on delivering” – Carl Hubbell

 

Leadership…. What is leadership? When Googling the term leadership, one finds many definitions. Some of them are very matter of fact, such as “a person who directs and guides a group” while others are more philosophical, as 4th century BC Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu asserts “a leader is best when people barely know he exists”. The definition that resonated with me the most was written by Kevin Kruse and states “leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal”. This definition is plain and simple and gets straight to the point. chess-442542_1280

That’s great you might say, but what makes a good leader and how can I get one? Well, as if you didn’t already know, a person’s title or position within the company doesn’t necessarily make them a good leader, nor does a long list of credentials after their name. Intelligence, motivation and determination, also do not necessarily equate to good leadership. Psychologists Peter Salovey, John Mayer and Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. researched this very subject and came to the conclusion that in addition to the stereotypical definition of a leader, “truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill” (2004). Data from Goleman’s study revealed that effective leaders displayed a greater level of emotional intelligence and were more effective than those without it.

I don’t know about you, but that strikes a chord with me. The ability to examine one’s own feelings as well as the feelings of others, and then applying that information to guide one’s thinking and actions follows along the same lines as the definition of leadership. In order to be an effective leader one needs to not only understand themselves, but to be able to truly understand others and the best way to work with them to get the most optimal results. This is something everyone can relate to and can greatly impact one’s happiness and life in general.

So what’s the good news here and how will that help me, you might ask? Well, emotional intelligence isn’t something you have to be born with. There are numerous ways people can improve their emotional intelligence. Some people may have an easier time than others and it may take a good amount of work, but it is possible.

Now, how to convince your boss…

 

 

Cherry, K. (2014). What Is Emotional Intelligence? Retrieved October 31, from http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/emotionalintell.htm
Goleman, D. (2004). What Makes a Leader? Retrieved October 31, from http://hbr.org/2004/01/what-makes-a-leader/ar/1
Kruse, K. (2013) What Is Leadership? Retrieved October 31, 2014 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/
Mielach, D. (2012). 10 Ways to Define Leadership. Retrieved October 31, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3647-leadership-definition.html
12 Mannage.com (2014). Leadership quotes. Retrieved October 31, from http://www.12manage.com/quotes_l.html

Blog Post #1: What is Office Mayhem?

I’m sure you are asking yourself, who is this person, what makes her so qualified and why should I even bother reading this? Well, if you’ve gotten this far, why not read a little further and see what ‘Office Mayhem’ is all about? Twenty plus years of dealing with various office personalities, management, leaders and office politics has given me great insight into how “screwed up” most work/office environments truly are. I’m not saying all offices are, but a large number of them definitely fit the bill and I’m sure many of you can relate.

 

So why is this the case you ask? Well there are numerous reasons why many offices do not function as efficiently and effectively as they should. Employees with bad attitudes, management that plays both sides of the fence, limited opportunity for employee growth, incompetence, office cliques/politics and employees getting ready to retire, just coasting through are but a few examples. But when it comes right down to it, the real culprit supporting this office mayhem is leadership. Yes leadership.

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Lack of leadership permits inefficiency, disorder and bad behavior, and effects all employees regardless of their position within the company. A company may be full of exceptionally talented employees, but if leadership is non-existent and there is a lack of direction, office mayhem will ensue. Who wants to work in an office were they are under appreciated and their talents go unnoticed? I don’t know many people who would answer yes. Yet many of us unfortunately do work in that type of environment. 

 

Wow, what a downer! I’m sure some of you are thinking thanks for reminding me about how much I loathe my job. Well, I apologize for that, but that is not my intention with this blog. The goal of this blog is to talk about the importance of leadership and how it effects the workplace, employees and the company as a whole. Leaders need to step into the trenches and take notice of what’s going on within the workplace.  Only then will they gain a better understanding of why office mayhem is so toxic and how it influences the company’s bottom line. Happy employees and a positive organizational culture directly impact a company’s success. If leadership doesn’t care, why should employees?