Tag Archives: LSI

Employee Enragement: Why people HATE working for you

By now some of you may or may not have realised, I’m working on some cultural change in my workplace at the moment- and it isn’t easy. No one expects it to be, but then I guess you never realise how hard it is when you have people in a particular industry that aren’t quite like those in the private sector.

In terms of the LSI, the primary styles of the people that I work with are:

Avoidance:

• A strong tendency to deny responsibility for one’s own behaviour
• Feelings of guilt over real or imagined mistakes
• Fear of failure
• A pre-occupation with one’s own concerns
• Lack of self-disclosure that eventually leads to emotional isolation

Approval:

• Low self-esteem
• Pre-occupation with opinions of others
• A tendency to be too agreeable, “wishy-washy” and compliant
• Difficulties with conflict, negotiation and confrontation

Oppositional:

• The ability to ask tough- probing questions
• A tendency to seem aloof and detached from people
• A need to look for flaws in everything
• A tendency to make others feel uncomfortable
• A negative, cynical attitude
• A sarcastic sense of humour

Sounds fun hey…

I was reading “Employee Enragement; Why people hate working for you” by James Adonis and I thought I might share a few key things that I have personally experienced in my working life so far that you may find humourous/appaulling/entertaining (or not!).

Just to give you some background, the book outlines 50 of the top reasons for employee disengagement and while some are quite funny- it is something that our people managers are doing every single day.

#49- Care and compassion: In one of my jobs there was a problem with the air conditioning. You know the story; some people near the glass are sweating while the people in the middle are freezing. Well they did do some testing, and I was sitting in a section of the office that was 14 degrees. I tried to stay warm but I ended up being really ill with a virus after no one would do anything to help me. Despite working really hard for 10 and sometimes 12 hours a day, when I took two days off sick the Senior HR person demanded to know why I wasn’t there and a colleague explained the situation. When I came back she said ‘had a bit of hay fever did we?’. What a cow.

#45- Empowerment: One HR director had to approve everything. And we’re talking down to invitations to induction. If you can’t empower your senior specialist then why are they there?

#41- Office psychopaths: haha so many examples coming to me right now. One I will share that happened to me this week. My workplace has hard floors and long corridors. I am female and I wear heels. This is what was put on my door this week. It is kinda funny, but at the same time- very, very weird. Passive Aggressive much?

quiet shoes

#27- Overworked: Nothing is more important then a person’s health and wellbeing. Sure deadlines will pass, but we are talking about people here. A manager once told me I couldn’t go home after 12 hours and I felt like I might be sick from exhaustion. Please managers- watch your employees and put them first.

#5- Negativity: Everyone must have worked with a Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer at some stage. They are draining, exhausting and may or may not be labelled an ‘oxygen thief’ in the team. I’ve encountered many of these and even been one myself at various times. One teammate I worked with threw a tantrum because we were presenting to the management team and I had printed some slides to explain my section and hadn’t told her. It was a last minute thing on my behalf, but I didn’t think it warranted her screaming, throwing things and swearing at me. Not acceptable. For any reason. Ever.

And the number one reason is lazy and underperforming co-workers according to James Adonis. He says that in a lot of companies many people just get paid for turning up rather than on how they perform, and this is very disengaging for the ones who work really hard. This is particularly true for government organisations whose remuneration scales are generally very transparent.

Out of necessity sometimes, managers end up spending more time on the bad employees when they should be dedicating time with the good performers. So what do you do then?

James suggests that you:

1) Train them
2) Motivate them
3) Nuture them
4) And if that doesn’t work sack them!

What do you think??

you_re_fired

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Filed under Change Management, Recommended Readings

Lessons from Mike Shove- CEO CSC Australia

On Wednesday of this week, I was fortunate enough to go along to the 11th Australian Conference on Culture and Leadership presented by Human Synergistics, in Sydney. Having recently used the LSI at my workplace, I was keen for a refresher and also hoped to get some inspiration on how to change behaviour in my workplace when it seems like an impossible task.

Once again, the best way for me to learn is from experience, and that was why it was fantastic listening to Mike Shove (former Managing Director and CEO of CSC Australia).

Mike was a highly engaging speaker and began by explaining his somewhat typical CEO response to a bad start in his role as MD and CEO at CSC. He said that things weren’t going well with his leadership group and business results were poor. He said he responded with some executive coaching and a ‘retreat’ where they you know “hugged some trees”, did some orienteering and had fun.

Not surprisingly, this didn’t work and things continued to worsen. CSC obviously had standards around behaviour, but they were essentially a number based organisation that also needed to achieve its targets.

Mike credits his HR Manager at the time for suggesting that he try the Human Synergistics circumplex; and more specifically the Leadership Impact tool. Mike was happy to give it a go because he thought he was relatively well liked and that he was an effective leader.

Now I’ve seen some bad results but this-hands down- is the worst I have ever seen and by Mike’s own admissions, he holds the world record for worst circumplex. This just makes his success even more incredible.

Mike LI

Where do you even go from there?

Well one of the most important learnings from this process is that it doesn’t happen overnight. Like any personal change, it does take time and like Miley says, it’s all about the climb.

Mike stuck at it, engaged his leadership team and then looked to the organisational culture. It was a long journey but one that derived huge amounts of learning. The results are nothing short of amazing in terms of the impact that it had on the leadership team, organisational culture and also the bottom line.

If this is something that interests you, I would recommend you check out Mike’s presentation on the Human Synergistics site. I know I’ll be sending it around to my staff that have recently completed the process.

One more thing that was truly impressive was a story Mike shared with us about a senior member of staff. Now this guy was a sales type who was achieving amazing results. However, as Mike described there was a trail of blood left by these results, and this was fitting as the circumplex indicated loads of red in terms of competitive, power and oppositional traits. Now many leaders would argue that these traits are what it takes to be that successful sales guy or that as long as he was achieving the targets- it was worth it.

In being committed to what they set out to achieve in terms of culture, Mike spoke with this sales guy and they ended up parting ways. This move is of huge significance to the organisation in terms of behavioural expectations. It sends the message- “it doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, you still need to contribute to a positive organisational culture”. This is an action I’m not sure many CEO’s would be willing to take, but sales results kept increasing and CSC never skipped a beat.

What a great example and so many learnings. I hope I’m able to facilitate this kind of change in my workplace because I know the results would be amazing.

Do you have any other stories like this you’d be willing to share?

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Filed under Change Management, Employee Engagement, Events