May 8, 2018

Repairing the Windows

Years ago, I worked with an organization that did a company-wide survey on various issues such as compensation, benefits, ability to advance, collaboration, leadership, communication, and others. The item that was surprisingly high on the list was management’s inability to deal with non-performance.

Money is always high on the list, pay people properly. The ability to advance and grow is up there as well, offer an environment where people can thrive and improve. But what may have appeared to be a minor issue when they crafted the survey became a big topic of discussion.

Accepted Behavior

When we dug deeper, it was clear that employees wanted to be treated fairly which is no surprise but things that were tougher to measure like favoritism and compassion came to the forefront.

One stakeholder said she had grown tired of seeing others in her department being allowed to show up late for meetings, unprepared, miss deadlines, and nothing was done about it. Another mentioned he had cared less and less about his department because his boss was doing the same. In “The Tipping Point”, Malcolm Gladwell calls this the broken window hypothesis.

Gap Analysis

This is where something small turns into something that can paralyze your organization which is leadership’s inability to deal with people showing up late for meetings, not getting their work done, or playing favorites. Those little things can add up to a feeling or an attitude you can't quite describe and it can hurt a company at the core.

There are data that shows close to a trillion dollars in lost revenue just in North America each year is attributed to disengaged employees. The challenge is committing to engagement.

The cost of great people isn't only measured by competitive compensation and a good benefits package.
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