You would think, in this day and age of transparency in the workplace and access to rapid-fire tech and communication tools that organizations would no longer be ready, willing and able to operate under a cloak of invisibility.
If you think that you would be wrong.
Over the last several months I have heard stories from both HR peers and folks who work in non-HR roles that brought to light some disastrous and bumbling maneuvers:
- an executive leadership team decided there should be new service standards (retail environment) to which all staff must adhere. These new service standards were not only never properly defined (i.e. behaviors), the new expectations were never trickled down to employees. Awareness throughout the company only came about when employees began to be ‘disciplined’ for not performing to standards. Oh…did I mention there were scorecards being kept on employees to “rate” them on these behaviors which had neither been defined nor communicated?
- ACME Corporation utilizes a focal point performance review cycle; still somewhat traditional (as many companies are by-the-way despite what the pundits tell us), employees receive an annual formal review. They are reviewed on the last 12 month’s performance, achievement of prior year goals is evaluated, and new goals are set for the upcoming year. Points are calculated (old school!) with heavy emphasis being given to goal accomplishment. One year, not that long ago, a new CEO joined the organization mid-year and, when performance review season rolled around, opted to “toss out” the existing goals that had been set during the last review cycle. Rather, when the process opened up at the end of the year (no doubt with heavy sighs of discontent all around since everyone despises these broken processes), the CEO instructed managers to evaluate employees on items other than the agreed upon goals set during the previous cycle. News to all concerned. “We didn’t tell Bob he was going to be held accountable for an xx% increase in important-metric XYZ? Too bad; he should have made that improvement. No points for Bob!”
I was told about:
- Company acquisition details that employees learned about via the internet or TV news stations rather than any one piece of communication coming from their own employer
- Corporate shenanigans exposed publicly (i.e. SOX compliance stuff) yet never explained to employees
- Head honchos (C-Suite) leaving the organization with nary a communique to the staff (unwashed masses?) within their span-of-control
Why does this sort of stuff go on?
Sometimes, as Executives and Leaders are sitting around a fancy mahogany table crafting the next great-step-in-the-company-history, they fail to take a look around the room and ask themselves “who else should be here?” …. “what could they add to the conversation?” ….“If they’re not here, what will they need to know …. and when?” ….”what could be the consequences if they aren’t here?”
Sometimes, they just don’t care if they’re inviting ghosts and phantoms into the workplace.
Now that’s spooky.
image via WikiMedia Commons