What Signals Does Your Company Send?

I met with a high potential employee of one of my clients and we had a great conversation about her future opportunities. She loves the company and her boss, and feels empowered to be a self-starter and emerging leader.

After we discussed new opportunities, the conversation evolved to some personalities at the company. She mentioned one senior person whose attitude is patronizing and dismissive. She said, “I understand the culture when everyone is an idiot…but…it gets a little insulting after a while.”

This was painful to hear, especially when she enjoys her work, the company itself, and opportunities ahead. She was so matter-of-fact about being treated “like an idiot” that it got me thinking about how hard it is for average performers to self-motivate in an environment where they are marginalized on a regular basis.

Please take a look inside your organization and objectively evaluate whether this happens. Are there leaders in your firm who have a sarcastic or abrasive attitude that demoralizes your staff?

If so, obviously this needs to be fixed. It’s understandable that senior executives can face brutal pressure, but when it’s pushed down to the staff, it is counter-productive.

Your employees want to do a good job. They don’t wake up in the morning and wonder how they can screw up and do lousy work. But if the bosses treat them as if they are useless, their attitudes will be hard pressed to stay upbeat.

Take stock of the behavioral attributes of your senior management. If there is a glitch similar to what I described here, it’s up to you to eradicate that behavior as soon as possible.

Have a great day!


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