So many businesses struggle with culture not through malice but because they are modern businesses relying on outdated systems. We are currently going through a culture transition, when businesses ride the wave of this change they have great cultures, when they bury their heads in the sand they get crappy cultures. What does this mean?
The business of the past was slowly changing and built on manual labor (generally speaking). So systems evolved over many years to achieve maximum output for this environment. Owners and teams started businesses and focussed on dominating markets.
The manager's role was to ensure maximum productivity in line with business objectives.
The team members' role was to work as efficiently as possible completing repetitive processes. Industries changed slowly so innovation wasn't a key concern. Life and jobs were active, processed foods weren't wide spread and mobile phones didn't exist so physical and mental wellbeing wasn't a key concern. Jobs were sparse and poverty was high so employee engagement wasn't a key concern.
Today all of this has been flipped on its head. Yet most businesses are still relying on the systems that were developed for this environment of the past. Consider an example.
When engagement and innovation are paramount for business success it's vital that a business has a process for employees to regularly have a voice and influence company strategy. This makes complete sense as the employees are closest to the product/service and customers so they have most of the knowledge on how to improve things. This also makes sense because most employees want to make a difference, so not only do they provide profitable insights but they become more engaged because of this.
Does your business do this? The truth is most don't and this is just one of the reasons employee engagement is so low and innovation is so slow. Here I'll reassert my original point. This isn't done through malice.
There are no business owners or senior leadership teams sitting around planning how to starve their employees of a voice and slow innovation. It's simply the outcome of most businesses doing things the way they have always done.
Are you riding the wave change or burying your head in the sand?
Mike Jones Better Happy Founder
Mike founded Better Happy in 2018.
He now works with a variety of businesses ranging from small accountancies up to large organisations such as Travelodge on improving employee happiness. Mike's vision and the vision of Better Happy is 'Every employee happy, every business thriving'