By Kurt Webber, TPG Consultant
Since few of us have experienced it, working for a company that has a positive culture is foreign to us. We assume that working for a company where the culture is negative and restrictive is the norm, not the exception. It’s not until we break those shackles either by changing the company culture we reside in, or by leaving it altogether, that we realize how working in a negative culture affects every aspect of our lives.
Not long ago, I worked for a company that did business throughout the US. I was the head of two departments and was responsible for over 60 employees. One day, I had to leave early (4:55 pm) to attend a function for my daughter. Sneaking out the back door, I made her function on time. The next morning, I was called into my boss’ office. My boss informed me, under no uncertain terms, that I would be terminated if I was “caught” leaving early again. It seems as though the CEO saw me “sneak” out the back door. Never mind the fact that I typically arrived at work at 7:15 each morning, I was to never leave early again, no matter what the reason.
It is this type of management style that zaps the motivation level out of the most motivated of employees. When senior management rules with this management style, it is not only toxic for that employee, but for all employees. We are seeing more and more companies moving away from building a positive culture within their organizations.
Today’s leaders must support and build a culture of trust that creates employee motivation, which in turn, creates employee loyalty. Programs such as building Great Workplaces, Results-Oriented Work Environments, and Jerk-Free workplaces are great places to start in creating a positive culture. By the way, I left that company (their loss) and found one that did have a positive people practices culture.
Great insights Kurt, glad you moved on. It’s amazing how much energy leaders and companies put into making their employees’ lives difficult instead of devoting the same level of energy to helping them grow and succeed. It’s as if we’ve set up workplaces that are designed to catch people doing things wrong instead of celebrate them for the wonderful things they do. Luckily, there are leaders out there who understand that results are more important than dominating their employees.