I was talking with a friend the other day about his long-term job—which he likes. But then he said his company “is really messed up.” If you have worked within a dysfunctional organization, you probably have some ideas about why companies go bad.
When I was an undergraduate psychology student, Dr. Laurence J. Peter, the author of The Peter Principle, came to speak at my university. He said people are promoted within organizations until they become incompetent—and that is where they stay. That made sense to me then, and I have seen it play out repeatedly throughout my work life.
When a leader or employee is labelled “a bad fit,” I don’t think it is because people are inherently bad or have bad intent. Those discussions are better left to philosophers and theologians. As a student of behavior, I believe that each person is the present result of all past experiences. As humans, whatever we learn through experience … is how we act.
Happily, there is potential for almost every person and organization to get better!
In my psychology schools, we were taught that the goal is to be a fully functioning person. It is also to be congruent—in that what you say about yourself is what you do.
At the risk of oversimplification, businesses should spend more resources on training and development. It is not fair to shareholders, stakeholders, and particularly to customers—when employees are unprepared to do their jobs. Everyone loses when lofty vision and mission statements go unfulfilled.
It’s beyond job knowledge and skills. Human beings have a wide range of emotions, and businesses must develop their people capabilities. There is no shortcut, workaround, or satisfactory exchange for a strong organizational culture. It’s even more crucial for the actions of company owners, leaders, managers, and supervisors to be on top of their “soft skills.” According to organizational research, people don’t quit companies—they quit bad bosses.
Perhaps it would benefit you to assess if you are a fully functioning business? Are your leaders, employees, and your teams aligned and congruent with your stated business goals and objectives?
Your business can thrive when all employees are well trained, use their talents, and practice effective people skills. Improvement will continue when employees receive positive coaching and effective feedback from caring and competent managers. With more awareness and an effective “people plan,” improvement can happen fast.
It requires motivation and intention to build a strong business culture. Your workplace will be energized, and it will be better for your customers.
You might find your financial rewards will be even more impressive.