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How is the culture/leadership within your organization at present?

There many negative statements being made by many employees within the private and corporate sector with regards to the subject matter.

Having spoken with many individuals who are employed in the private and corporate sectors I was horrified at what they shared with me; in fact, I imagined their gripes to be over exaggerated until I received confirmation of similar experiences from other employees within the same organizations.

I am not an expert on corporate culture at all, but in my tenure in the corporate world I had a saying when there was predominately good leadership and culture within the organisation: I WILL FIGHT ANY WAR WITH THESE MEN AND WOMAN AND KNOW THAT WE WILL WIN, obviously the opposite with bad leadership and culture.

As stated, I’m no expert on the subject, however the thermometer reading from the infrared gun post pandemic COVID is dangerous in many businesses. Perhaps it is to be expected given the challenging circumstances that everyone needed to operate in and navigate through new territories and challenges that never existed before. It can’t remain at these levels and behaviours at all levels in the business need to change or they will lose more ground.

Yes, working from home was an essential move to ensure continuity in the business to provide a service to their customers. This was a huge shift to the norm for most employees and leaders, my believe is this had the greatest impact on the business culture. There was no more togetherness, fun and fellowship which is the glue that bonds the employees and leaders.

Financial performances were greatly impacted, and I believe the expectations from leadership was that this would recover sooner than later, and the reality is that recovery has been slow. Having said this many businesses have had their best growth in 2021 and have exceeded their pre COVID sales. Certain sectors in the economy had a very quick recovery and most of these industries are at work, in office, on site with no working from home.

The pressure on businesses to perform and recover the lost ground is tremendous and it appears to be management by crisis, ethics/moral/culture and values have taken a back seat to the focus on profits. People don’t perform and unite as one under threats/unfair reprimands and it is time that the larger corporates took cognisance of this. The focus is mostly on the soldiers in the trenches and the generals at the top and their subordinates escapes this focus. Is not prudent to scrutinise these individuals as well and ensure that they are leaders with compassion, promoting organizational culture which affects the organization’s productivity and performance and provides guidelines on customer care and service, product quality and safety, attendance and punctuality.

Organizational culture is unique for every organization and one of the hardest things to change but it needs to be done and these generals and subordinates earn huge packages so if they can’t make the change then get the competent people in to do so. The bleeding needs to stop, and a happy/safe/secure working environment needs to return and I’m sure the bottom line of the businesses will improve. Some tips for the generals and their henchmen:

  • The ways the organization conducts its business, treats its employees, customers, and the wider community,

  • The extent to which freedom is allowed in decision making, developing innovative ideas, and personal expression,

  • How power and information flow through its hierarchy, and

  • How committed employees are towards collective objectives

  • Culture unites (brings together) employees by providing a sense of identity with the organization.

  • Companies with cultures that place a low value on innovation expect their employees to do their jobs the same way they have been trained, without looking for ways to improve their performance.

Every organization that excels at the building, reinforcing, and leveraging its unique culture in support of delivering sustainable performance has built a strong “culture foundation.”

For a culture of customer service excellence to grow and thrive, management must have a burning desire for it to be that way and the energy to ensure that this desire spreads throughout the organization and remains there permanently.

According to Richard Perrin, “Organizational culture is the sum of values and rituals that serve as a glue to integrate the organization’s members.”

My opinion on the “Work from Home” new norm, is there are definite benefits to the companies IRO cost savings etc. but it’s affecting productivity. This concept is new to South Africans but has been the norm across the world for many years and needs to be fine-tuned. Often I have called SEO’s, Bank Officials and other service providers for service/product and related issues for my businesses and some encounters are very humorous some very frustrating.

Wishing you all a Happy Passover/Easter and productive and profitable April 2022

Warm Regards

Patrick Schwartz Consulting and Mortgages

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