People can make or break a company. One of the leading causes of internal dysfunction is by folks with a bad attitude. People with a glass full of negative attitude can corrupt the entire team and cause total dysfunction. In many companies, the problem is not a lack of strategy. It is the poor execution of the strategy due to a noncollaborative team that causes poor execution.
When you examine the business carefully, you notice a laidback attitude by the top and middle managers, which affects the entire team. If a manager complains to his team that she or he feels the company makes a lot of money but only the top people take it, such message may affect the morale of the rest even if not true.
Bad attitude does not develop instantly. It is a result of continued exposure to a toxic work environment over time which affects everyone else. And many times, leaders are blind to it. So how do you conduct a people audit to assess the state of attitude and fix it?
The starting point is a cultural audit. What is the company culture? How do leaders live the culture demonstrate? You know fixing culture is a long-term game – 6-30 years project that requires defining specific habits and living them consistently by all concerned. Once the culture is identified and codified, it must be lived. New initiatives to facilitate the living of the company culture must be devised and implemented.
The next step is to create team cohesion. How do you get people to trust one another? To be the co-worker’s keeper of secrets and look out to help at any opportunity. To have the team interests at heart. How do you get the team to be beyond influence by any single member by focusing on the enterprise ambition?
Once trust is created, next, create motivation. Why should one come to work? There must be clarity of targets so that each team members knows their role in the journey. Also, provide a budget to facilitate the execution. Many times, leaders want to give targets but remain in control of the target. So, someone feels not trusted or empowered to make the right calls at their level to achieve targets.
I have also noted that many companies do not provide clarity of the structure and promotion roadmap, which tends to kill people’s morale. You don’t want to be in a company where you see no hope for personal and career growth. At a personal level, you want to have promotion in terms of more money, and a personal level, you want more responsibilities and roles so that you acquire new qualifications and exposure. You need to know what it takes to progress to the next level.
If I work in a bank as a Teller, I need to know what it takes to become a Supervisor of all Tellers, and what it takes to become a Branch manager – including the qualifications required, years of experience and the personal profiles so that I may start working on it. Just making something like that clear helps give confidence to the team in the system. When I know that people occupying senior jobs do so on merit, I increase my respect for them. It is no brainer.
Next time you are having an attitude problem, remember start with the culture.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.