The stench from workplaces

This is the first in a series of three posts in which I will unpack what I call, the worky principle. The essence of the principle is that we don’t do what we say at work, because we know the truth.

My reference to ‘we’ includes those in positions of leadership, authority and trust, such as directors, management, HR and your boss. You will find what we say in the company’s values, policies and intranet. You know what we do, from personal experience. We say X but do nothing, remain stuck with the same old Q or do new useless ZZZ. The ‘truth’ is what we wholeheartedly believe and subscribe to in our hearts; even if external forces are telling us that, we are in cuckoo land. We know the truth and do not intend to share it with employees.

Now before you protest about the worky principle being one sided and harshly slanted against organisations, I have been fortunate to have accumulated sufficient evidence over the years from employees and HR alike. And with each passing year, I’m confident that is safer to approach all facets of your working experience from this position, until your organisation demonstrates to the contrary.

Here are two examples

Example 1

What we say
We value people

What we do
We devalue them through our business decisions and people management practices. Think about how many times you have been insulted, victimised, deceived and shortchanged in your job.

What we know
People are dispensable. Period.

Example 2

What we say
We reward stellar performance with higher pay, exciting work and glowing recognition

What we do
We play games with performance appraisals to achieve a bell distribution curve. We have earmarked exciting work for our ‘Yes’ men irrespective of their performance. We ignore you.

What we know
The performance management system is flawed. We don’t want to change it.

In the next post, I’ll look at why the worky principle is thriving and the ramifications for customer service, careers and the bottom line.

(Moneyweb, July 2006)

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