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Transition from “It’s not ok” to “It’s ok”

In one of my previous talks I spoke about ‘Approval to bad quality ’, one of my listener asked “how can we avoid bad hires”,

I had answered “Hires always go through the similar talent benchmarks in any organization, sometimes there are holes which pass them through. The regular checks filter them again. But what I am really worried about is the good hires who leave because of these bad hires

This was an answer that was instantaneous and not a practiced one. After the talk, this thought persisted with me and this blog is about the transition of the folks from feeling “It is not ok” to “It is ok”

In the past few years , I have seen folks who had the traits of doing right always and attitude of ‘It is not ok’ towards small wrong are slowly transitioning towards the attitude of ‘It is ok”, “This is always like this”, “Another mistake in the pile”

What made their traits change, If you observe ; their innate traits have not changed in their personal lives But they have started wearing another mask in the organizations.

Let us look at few triggers that make people feel disconnected and are ok to live with the wrongs.

1. Lack of respect by peers

Many a times we attribute respect as respect in communication but fail to recognize the respect that is needed in the way you are treated for the decisions you are allowed to make, for the opinions you give and for the work you have done.

I have seen a few individuals who try to pin good people for something that was never an issue. How do you recognize such bad folks:

a. Ask them why they feel it as an issue, and they would reason that they THINK this MIGHT become issue in future and not NOW.

b. You would see them doing the same and when asked; attribute it to a unknown reason that cannot be disclosed.

c. Confront them and they dig the history of your team’s faults , wavering from the actual issue.

d. You get a feeling that there is someone observing you constantly trying to find the fault of yours.

2. Approval to Wrongs

Any wrongs, whether it is done in open or in closed doors should have the consequences equally. Closed wrongs are always hidden and leaders fail to realise that inspite of it being hidden, every one in the org knows about it . The impact in this case is higher as the discussions, conclusions and gossips happen behind the back and hence can never be validated or acted upon.

3. Comparison and illogical reasoning

Sometimes as leaders, we think that every decision of mine is correct and go to heights to validate them — be it incorrect comparisons or wrong data.

A good employee lost on a hike or promotion while another employee was rewarded for the sole reason of retention. The feedback that goes to former is some assumed benchmarks , comparison on the face, no data but just talk.

When the clarity is in black and white, hiding it behind a foolish comparisons will make the employee feel — “It is *** here”.

4. My way, highway

Providing an environment to voice your opinions is what many organisations thrive for, but once done, are these voices really heard? It is concerning, when feedbacks are taken , but are never acted upon. The feedbacks were for the sake of it . The decisions still remain the same as the leader feels “My way, highway”.

5. Repeated same promises for correction

Create the surveys, accept the feedback, promise for action and then ??

Sometimes we forget that any action is complete only when the results are seen and not when it is taken.

The moment we hit the crux of patience with same repeated promises, we lose the value of our words and are starting to lay the foundation of the culture which loudly shouts “It has always been like this”.

6. Free cash with no accountability.

Do we have employees who can run away from being not accountable for their deeds?

Have you observed this?

1. Some of the employees hide behind 100’s of reasons for their no-shows. The hint is that it is repeated occurrence and there is never data to validate these reasons.

2. When blamed, find a scapegoat to pass the blame. Hint — The scapegoats are not part of the discussions, they are new in the game. Sometimes these goats speak up and then these goats will be pinned for even a minor mistake and is always blamed in public.

3. The repeated failures if approved by the management and when asked , instead of answering they reason with the issues about the confronter. This is the biggest hint to the toxic culture.

What is the result of these conclusions?

1. People who do not want to amend their values, LEAVE without speaking!

2. Some amend their values and contribute back to this toxicity and slowly this toxicity spreads, so much that the day it is realized the only solution would be to mass firing.

3. There are few who continue to speak up. Continue to be termed black sheep and is continued to be loathed.

As a manager/ leader, look for these subtle not-explicit hints. One of your employee might be miserable in spite of having good work and good growth.

The earlier you find the rotten tomatoes hidden in the pile and throw them, the easier it is to save the pile.

Of course It is not easy to find the bad ones, but hey we are leaders and we are hired for this :-)



Series of blogs about corporate system. Stories that are never told openly!

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