2. Silo mentalities: ‘No man is an island’ said poet John Donne. Well, no team is either. An organisation is an ecosystem in which everyone is dependent on interactions with - and support from – everyone else. When teams begin pulling in different directions it is impossible to create success. Imagine a cart being pulled by four horses trotting at pace. If they pull in different directions what happens to the cart? At best it might stand still. At worst, it will end up in bits. But when they pull in the same direction….? Never underestimate the cost of misalignment and silo thinking within your organisation.
3. Disengaged workforce: Disengagement can be at the root of a variety of organisational ills – from high turnover and sickness absence, to poor service delivery, to lowered productivity. People often mistake engagement for happiness or satisfaction, but to quote Kevin Kruse “Someone can be happy at work, but not “engaged.” They might be happy because they are lazy and it’s a job with not much to do. They might be happy talking to all their work-friends and enjoying the free cafeteria food. They might be happy to have a free company car. They might just be a happy person. But! Just because they’re happy doesn’t mean they are working hard on behalf of the company. They can be happy and unproductive.” http://www.kevinkruse.com/happiness-or-employeeengagement/
The 2008 McLeod report showed that an engaged employee takes an average 2.69 sick days, compared with 6.19 sick days for a disengaged employee, and places the UK cost of disengagement at £60bn. What is disengagement costing your company? And what are you doing to fix it?
4. Misaligned reward structures: In Stephen R Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the Win/Win Habit describes a business leader seeking a culture of collaboration, frustrated with internal politics and silos. Stephen notices a poster on the wall of this CEO’s office - a racecourse and horses - each bearing the name of a sales person. The prize at the finish line is a holiday to Bermuda – only one horse can win…
When your structures or rewards pull against your stated vision, strategy or values it breeds cynicism and frustration, which feeds disengagement (see point 3!). I’ve seen organisations claiming Service Excellence, whilst targeting their service centre on 3 minute call times, or recruiting at the lowest possible salary level. When you have defined values and direction, you need to put your money (and metrics) where your mouth is. What structures and procedures do you have that may be undermining your strategy?
5. Poor communication: Some estimate that managers spend 7 times as long clarifying poor communication as they spend on effective communication first time around. Imagine what this could be costing your organisation? Improving communication skills is vital to improved efficiency. A simple test: Ask a handful of people across your organisation to describe the strategic goals of your business and give their view on what this means for them in their day-job. You may find the answers revealing…
What would you add to this list? Add your comments below – we’d love to hear your views.