Does your Boss Hate You?

Almost one in every four employees (39%) thinks that their boss dislikes them

52% of workers rate the access they have to their boss as merely satisfactory, with a further 8% rating their access as poor, in the latest survey conducted by FindEmployment. However, only 2 out of 100 respondents claimed their ability to connect with their superior was terrible and a respectable 39% recorded their relationship with their boss as excellent. Over a quarter (27%) of workers are unsure if their boss trusts them to do their job or feel constantly micromanaged and criticized.

When asked the question “Which of the following examples best identifies if your boss does not like you?” the responses were as follows:

  • Excluding you from an important project – 25%
  • Inaccessible and indifferent attitude toward you – 29%
  • Intensive micromanagement of your work – 20%
  • Assigning you menial tasks – 26%

In relation to the examples given above, one fifth of survey respondents (20%) reported that they had directly experienced being excluded from an important project by their boss. 22% of workers communicated they had been subjected to an inaccessible and indifferent attitude, and 13 in every 100 felt they have been intensively micromanaged at work.

Further findings were:

  • 3% of workers have been physically attacked by their boss
  • 6% of employees have been sworn at
  • 12 out of every 100 workers report their boss has made a pass at them
  • A fifth (20%) complain their work has been publicly criticized in front of others

“It is not easy for employees to remain dedicated to the job and company if they feel they are being unfairly scrutinized, or placed under duress and pressure by their bosses on a continual basis”, said James Weaver, Director of FindEmployment. “But it would be too easy to draw conclusions on the survey findings and simply blame bosses for all the grievances that employees feel in the workplace. In some cases managers need to work on how they communicate with staff, and convey the reason why employees are being left out of a project and limit publicly criticizing staff. However for more serious issues such as being physically attacked, or having unwanted romantic overtures from a superior, I recommend employees take such matters to their HR department, or an independent employment rights group for advice” he continued.

Originally published by FindEmployment

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Creative Destruction

Creative Destruction. What an interesting term. In order to create something new, something else must get destroyed. In essence, to truly gain something we must lose something.

What have you had let go of or destroy when you created something new in your life? What did you create in the process?

I Will Huff and I’ll Puff! The Challenge of Re-Engagement!

3 Little PigsRe-engagement: Coming Back from a Difficult Time and Culture in an Organization

We have said that engagement begins with the individual, grows among team members, and shapes the future of the organization. However, this is not always a smooth progression. What happens when there is a loss of engagement? The loss may be due to a difficult relationship or event, or the more far-reaching impact of a culture shift in the entire organization.

How do we re-build when there is not only a lack of trust, but a loss of trust? Can the promises that once worked create a sense of confidence among employees who are “once bitten, twice shy”?

There is good news and bad news about re-engagement. To offer the bad news first, regaining trust has special challenges. The process must begin with an understanding of what went wrong, and the dedications to make the necessary changes to be sure it won’t happen again. As in the story of the “three little pigs,”  the right materials must be found to make sure the house isn’t “blown down” each time a storm of controversy arrives at the door.

The process of identifying the problems and their impact must be sensitive to the fact that different people may have been affected in different ways by the events that created the loss of engagement. Those affected by the problems and those responsible for them must find a way to identify solutions which everyone can accept, in spite of their differences.

It is only as plans to move forward and implement the solutions materialize, that there is the opportunity to re-establish a spirit of engagement. The good news is that as this happens, there is the opportunity to reap the rewards of what has been learned to create a stronger and more “storm proof” environment for the future. Individuals will be able to apply what they have learned about themselves, their team members, and the organization, as they seek to make a greater contribution. Heroes can emerge in this process who had not assumed this role before. Employees can assume a greater commitment to not only create a spirit of engagement, but to recognize its fragility, and their role in building the engagement culture “brick by brick” each day. In this way, employees can see how their contribution is needed more than ever to keep their work environment safe and sound.

As with individuals, fluctuations in engagement in an organization are inevitable. They create difficulties, but also opportunities for insight and growth. They point to weaknesses, and highlight areas of strength. The important thing is to approach them with more engagement and openness, not less, and to build engagement strength through increased resistance. In this way, employees will not to be left with no structure to support them, like the pigs in the woods!

In building your culture of engagement, it is important to discuss in advance what you will do when the wolf comes to the door. What are the values and outcomes you will protect at all cost? How are individuals in your engaged culture empowered to identify and communicate concerns before they increase in size? What resources are dedicated to reviewing the issues of concern and determining what action, if any, should be taken? How will this process be monitored? What result is anticipated, and how will this contribute to the success of the organization and its engagement  culture?

Dr. Edward Morler, an organizational psychologist who works with leadership teams, refers to “integration” or “disintegration” in describing individual personality characteristics. His point is that as individuals assume a more “win-win” mentality, they adopt the best characteristics of other personality types. On the other hand, if they are less committed to what is best for others, they may adopt some of the less desirable characteristics of other personality types.

The challenges faced by an organization suffering a loss of engagement present the opportunity for the to move to a more “win-win” environment, adopting new positive characteristics along the way..  It is a process that requires patience and commitment, but is well worth the effort.

What challenges to engagement does your organization face? How are they addressed? In what ways can they help you to become better, and stronger in your commitment to engagement, than before?

All Salute and No Shoot! What we Have Here is a Failure to Collaborate.

It has been said that human beings use only a small amount of their true abilities, cognitively as well as in their roles at work, in performing their duties each day. If each No Violenceof us can do so much more, can you imagine what highly engaged individuals can do in teams? However, every bit of the benefit of teamwork depends upon collaboration – an art that has been lost as we focus on what we can do individually.

The lack of ability to collaborate often shows up most clearly in the political or legislative process, where agreement if not true collaboration is required to gain approval. In this environment, attention is given to issues that are used to inspire emotion in order to win people over to a cause or point of view. One of the recent examples of such an issue, which has been a challenge for some time, is violence in our society.  This was most recently brought to light because of the tragic circumstances in Newtown, CT.

In a truly engaged environment, such issues would be recognized for high levels of collaboration and dialog. A shared focus on what is best for all involved would prevail. The objective would be identified and would guide discussions that consider all points of view.  However that is far from what happened after Sandy Hook and other incidents.

Both sides started in immediately.  People on the side of gun control wanted all sorts of things to occur such as a ban on all guns.  Others on the opposite side of the argument viewed any discussion regarding gun control as an act of tyranny.  The irony is that the conversations that have occurred have generally limited our ability to solve the problems we face and rarely honored those that were victims.

We might imagine that in such a situation, those concerned would focus on the issue we all share, that of safety and security for our homes, families and businesses. We would also consider the importance of Constitutional rights and civil liberties. Instead of asking for gun control or protesting against it, we could imagine starting with an inclusive question such as… “How can we make this society safer and less violent while attempting to maintain our civil liberties in the process?”

We have a much better chance addressing the “real issues” from this starting point as opposed to the divisive one that has been used.  And I mean “used” in its most derogatory form.

These decisions, of course, do not occur in a vacuum. If we are not collaborative in the larger vision for our country our ability to make good choices is compromised.  We see this behavior very quickly crawling and spreading into our boardrooms, schools and living rooms. Our leaders, cable channels, networks, newspapers and magazines have fostered a win at all costs, they are the enemy, half truth version of the truth. And many of us have bought in hook, line and sinker.  We cannot talk about issues anymore.  People are afraid they will be labeled, called names or worse ostracized.  Of course, conversations happen among the like minded, but that only serves to increase the barriers between us.  We see others in caricature form.  So, where the issue appears to be a stand-alone opportunity, it is clearly a beacon showing us the importance of having a culture of engagement and collaboration, nationally, organizationally, and individually.

This example highlights something important about the relationship between collaboration and freedom. The greater collaboration and engagement in our society, the less likely we are to take the easy road of straight compromise or the road to nowhere based on the lack of willingness to compromise. Collaboration…real collaboration leads to new ideas and innovation.  That is what this country is based on.  A new idea.  That is what our economic success has been based on.  New ideas.  Let’s return to that important principle.  We must open our minds and our arms.  We must start our conversations collaboratively and inclusively focusing on opportunity rather than fear and on what is possible rather than why it won’t work.

As you seek to create value in your organization, what opportunities do you have to collaborate? Is there a process in place to support this effort? Is the process flexible enough to meet the needs for which it is designed? As you seek to go the extra mile, do you help others do the same? What are the larger issues in your organization that can be addressed by collaboration, and what freedoms are at risk because of the inability to collaborate? How are you “taking aim” to protect the freedoms that support the opportunity for engagement and trust?  How have you made it safe for everyone to speak openly regardless of who they are, where they are from, what part of the organization they work in, and their willingness to challenge the status quo?

Live Strong Or Die Armstrong: Trust, Engagement, and the Impact of a Brand

“A little circle of trust.” You may remember this line from the popular movie, “Meet the Lance ArmstrongParents.” It is used to describe a wedding ring. The symbolism is that the individuals involved are encircled within a trusting relationship, with no beginning and no end.

Organizations and brands are expressions of a much larger, but just as important, circle of trust. When this trust is broken, many more people are affected. The ripple effect of the loss of this trust reaches people in obvious ways, and through extension, many more people in less obvious, but equally serious ways.

One recent and especially painful example of this is the events with Lance Armstrong, and their impact on his brand and the Live Strong ethic and programs. Lance is not the only, but only the most recent, icon to fall amidst charges of “serial cheating.” The trail of destruction begins with Lance himself. Recently, in a television interview, his confidence seemed superficial, and his body language showed him hiding his face behind his hand as he spoke.

We can view Lance himself as a victim in the loss of engagement and trust, through the mishandling of his talents, and the loss of a tremendous opportunity to make a lasting, positive impact in the world. He was robbed through his actions of the opportunity to know what he could truly have accomplished on his own, something so important to each of us.

Even more sadly, all the opportunity for good Lance created through his brand is at risk, as well. Live Strong, the symbol of his achievement and his overcoming of all odds in the face of illness, and those who most desperately depend on his inspiring story, are at risk. Financially, it is disastrous, but in human cost, even more so. In addition to his family, friends, business associates, and fans, other brands that depended on the promise of Live Strong and Lance’s talents are affected. These brands include those who sponsored Lance, and many others that were influenced by his fame, spirit, and the markets that were enhanced because of them.

We must not overlook the Tour de France event and organization, and the sport itself, that have been forever changed. Certainly, other participants will be affected by the response of the organization to these developments. Then, there are the contenders in the races Lance won. Those who trained with him, raced with him, and were inspired by him. Several individuals lost the opportunity to win the Tour de France fairly, and without scandal, because Lance’s actions stole that opportunity from them.

What does this say about engagement, trust, and the ability to make a difference? Clearly, trust and engagement are inseparable. Engagement thrives in an environment of trust, and can be destroyed when trust is absent or broken. This story reminds us, like so many stories before it, that each of us can make an impact. Even if we are not famous athletes, the impact of what we do reaches those closest to us, and others we may not consider in our actions. It has been said, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room!” Although it is an extreme example, this joke certainly holds true.

As we follow the story of Lance Armstrong, we do still seek to Live Strong. Perhaps this is the opportunity for redemption and benefit for all of us from his experience. We must rededicate ourselves to making good choices, remembering that what is built over a lifetime can be lost in a moment. We can consider our family, friends, colleagues, and our personal brand, as well as our corporate brand. What good can it do? What is its impact? Who is affected? How can we show trust and engagement, and encourage these qualities in others? How can we take this opportunity to ensure that our brand “Lives Strong?”

Four Organizational Freedoms

I was recently struck by Roosevelt’s famous words in his speech to Congress regarding the “Four Freedoms” needed to have a safe and secure world.  Reading the words from this speech made me realize how much these concepts apply to organization’s as well.  I took a moment and rewrote the “Four Freedoms”  from an organizational perspective.

The Four Freedoms

The first is freedom of open and transparent communication — everywhere in the organization.

The second is freedom of every person to work in his/her own way with passion toward the organization’s goals — everywhere in the organization.

The third is freedom from want — which, translated into organization terms, means economic opportunities which will secure a productive future for every person — everywhere in the organization.

The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into organizational terms, means an organizational reduction in hierarchy to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that to be successful collaboration will be a necessity and aggressive use power will be less productive — anywhere in the organization.

If organizations follow these principles in the way they operate, they will increase diversity of thought, innovation, quality, employee engagement and customer loyalty.  It is amazing what a strong culture can support.

4 Ways Unalloyed Fear Can Damage the Hospital Culture

By Leigh Page

Some hospital cultures promote confidence and risk-taking among employees while others create stress and anxiety, and this substantially affects the bottom line, says Brad Federman, president of Performancepoint in Memphis, Tenn. Here Mr. Federman identifies four ways unalloyed fear can destroy the work culture of a hospital, reducing efficiency and income.

1. Hiding from financial troubles. When the hospital starts losing money, the top executives hide in their offices and are not to be seen anywhere. Employees, left without any information, start getting very fearful and are distracted from doing their work. Mr. Federman found that hospitals that were in financial straits during the recession fared better if they were transparent about it.

2. Slamming a new idea. Someone presents an intriguing idea at a meeting. The leader of the meeting downplays the idea, fearful that if he accepts it too eagerly, others may not present their own ideas. He challenges the person who presented the idea, to the point where everyone is speechless. As a result, no one wants to present any idea, the exact opposite of what the leader wanted.

3. Tearing down a critic. If a well-meaning critic in the hospital is successfully silenced and even forced out of his job, the event immediately enters the mythology of the workplace as something you can get away with. “People are always telling stories, and these stories have a message,” Mr. Federman says. “The message here is, ‘If someone comes after me, I can tear them down. ‘” Management can say, until they are blue in the face, “We have an open environment,” but employees believe they understand the real rules.

4. Telling the patient disturbing news.
Afraid about how the patient will react, some caregivers sugar-coat bad news, to the point where the patient doesn’t understand what is being said. “Nothing has been communicated,” Mr. Federman says. At the other extreme, another caregiver may present the news in the most alarming terms, because he is worried about being sued. He thinks giving the worst-case scenario would protect him. Following the directives of risk management programs is important, but unduly frightening patients and their families invites hostility.

See the original article here