If you lead people, intentionality on both the spoken and hidden rules of engagement and interaction models is not optional.
Your life and work always moves toward what you think about most. The things we put little effort into changing tend to stay the same or degrade. Seems we frequently expect people with different standards, different values, and different goals to just “figure it out”. This rarely is a strategy for success.
This series will provide very simple questions meant to (re)spark awareness of nuances that may not always be top of mind but can help close the gap in organizational culture between an engaged or a disengaged employee.
One way to ensure subpar delivery and increase churn in an organization is to penalize people who ask questions and to have leaders who are unavailable to provide guidance and clarity. Doing so often leads to a lot of fire drills because those working on the project were not given guidance they needed, and the leader(s) only make time to see the product with limited time before it is due.
Micromanagement can simply be a coachable issue or be seen from someone who is in the wrong role. However, when micromanagement becomes the cultural norm anything that appears to deviate from “the established process” is unacceptable and is not given consideration. Over time, this will bring down employee morale and begins to drive mediocre products and services.
Truth and accuracy are often a threat to anyone trying to control and manipulate. If the people who want to control and manipulate are leaders, they will not tolerate “insubordination” from anyone who shares information that is different from their goals.
When trust is low and presuming ill intent about others is the norm, one of the cultural behaviors that will also be seen is that someone who presents high bully or manipulative behavior will not include key players in meetings. They may also deliberately not progress a project or deliverable as a way to exert power.
Another way this indicator is seen is when those who do want to make progress on a task or delivery will spend more time finding solutions that do not involve those who bully and manipulate.
Providing little to no room for good intentions and mistakes is a definite indicator of a low trust culture: Hearing people speak negatively about others is normal; Gossip is high; and Presuming ill motives about others is accepted and reinforced.
Hours in the office (beyond a normal business day) can be used as a punishment / reward system. A sense of control and power often drive this behavior with “dedication” and “team player” being used as leverage. Quality is not as important and the time someone is perceived to be at work, even if that time is not productive.