Attitudes that can foster WPV – Part 3
For those who are old enough to remember Strother Martin’s statement in the 1960’s movie Cool Hand Luke “What we have heah is a failure to communicate”. One of the biggest bug-a-boos in the corporate world. How well does your company communicate with its employees. You may think that you are, but are you really effective?
Many times changes come down from management without any regard to the problems it may cause. And they really shake up the employees, and even some supervisors. And why does that occur? Because management doesn’t take the time to prepare the employees for the change, if there is time & sometimes there isn’t, and they fail to communicate it effectively.
Much like politicians will tell you that a new bill/law is good for you and then you find out you have to jump through a million hoops to do the same thing you did last week with just one step. Failure to communicate.
Remember that unless you’re working with an office or manufacturing plant that is staffed by those with nothing but MBA’s, then you need to write and communicate on a 6th grade level. Yes I know, that sounds demeaning, however that is the level that is most easily understood in this electronics driven society we live in.
• Unequal Enforcement of Policies
Another thing that may be hard to avoid with your employees, especially if you have one that is eager to please and takes on extra work. This goes to the fact that some employees may not be punished as hard as the next.
But, the one issue with this is that other employees only see the end result after an incident. They don’t see the process in between and why one employee was suspended/terminated and another was only reprimanded.
So you have to be as transparent as you possibly can in the enforcement of policies and procedures. Within a union environment this may not be so hard. But if you have non-union employees then it may be trickier to have that transparency.
• Perceived Unequal Treatment
Ah, that word pops up yet again in this series! The key word here is perceived unequal treatment. Again, some employees will grumble and complain some very loudly, about how policies are so unfair. But that is their perception.
As you may know, I’ve said for a long time that perception is reality. And with anti-Semitic, Christian, Islamophobia, or any other group, it’s hard to change those perceptions.
• Authoritarian Style of Management
One of the items that is slowly going away in most companies. It has been around for thousands of years but will remain in some fashion long after we all retire and are pushing up daisies. This attitude on the part of management is succinctly called ‘My way or the highway’.
In some respects it’s necessary for management to manage this way. When dealing with hazardous chemicals or in the law enforcement/security field you could call it mandatory to act and manage this way, if for no other reason than the personal safety of the officers and other employees.
But for the most part companies are moving towards a more kinder and gentler form of management. Maybe we’ll soon get some of those perqs that you see at Google or Apple. Not likely, but possible.
One thing that everyone, and I haven’t met a person yet who will admit it, does on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how you stereotype, we all do it. We stereotype someone driving erratically as being drunk or high. If someone is wobbling down the street, we assume they’re drunk.
If someone has a speech impediment, we call then stupid. Someone is rude, brusque, and irritated then we say they are angry or mad, possibly ready to blow their top.
Those are all things that everyone will stereotype on a daily basis. And there are millions more. Think about it. How many times have you seen someone acting a certain way and you say they must be…
Stereotyping can be dangerous. The individual may be suffering from a medical condition. They may be hurt i.e. a concussion. They may well just be plain stupid – putting on make-up in the car or trying to get somewhere faster, in the last 2 examples the hospital.
This post is a little longer than I wanted it to be, but I’m hoping that by reading all of this you can get an idea on how to counteract some of these attitudes in your company and managerial duties. It’s never easy to criticize yourself, but in this case you have to evaluate how you come across to your employees or co-workers. Remember it’s all about perception.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.