CORPORATE BRIBERY…it works for the wrong people

Have you ever seen parents who had no idea why their baby was crying so they turned to sweets as solution to make them quiet? Although food may comfort the child, the downside is teaching children to rely on food to handle negative emotions, which may have negative consequences in the long run: emotional eating—consuming food in response to a bad mood.

On a personal note…I am pretty sure I was a victim of this. I used to be a very smart and kind of morbidly obese kid who had to figure out the hard way why I kept opening the fridge every 10 minutes when I had to work on something difficult.

On a more professional note…employee engagement programs without addressing the root cause of the issue are quite similar. The cold, hard truth is that broken culture cannot be fixed with offering vouchers and free lunch to staff…that is simply corporate bribery for people who are willing to take it. The talented ones with integrity will leave.

Broken culture = broken leadership

I saw an update on Linkedin last week which was about mystifying corporate culture by claiming it was complicated to understand. I am not trying to downplay its complexity, but it is the behaviour that is rewarded and punished, it is the reflection of the values and needs of the leaders, mostly, the CEO’s.

According to research 60-80% of all problems are due to strained relationships between employees and the top 3 causes of conflicts are clash of values and personalities combined with poor leadership. How many of these are addressed with engagement programs? No wonder that statistics are getting worse despite investing more and more in the same solutions while hoping for different results.

Most of the problems in a company could be fixed or significantly reduced by focusing on ICQ, the blueprint of why people think and behave differently. Who needs it the most? The middle-managers, who lead 80% of the workforce, the ones who face clients and represent your business.

They are the most disengaged layer of a company, 75% of employees leave because of them and the ones who stay cost the business an extra 34% on top of their salary in lost productivity and reputation. It is an open wound that seriously damages the company while the competition is getting stronger. Ignoring it is not an option.

Imagine if you could keep your best people and attract new talent by training them to lead in a way that employees feel valued and engaged instead of stressing each other out and suffocating the business.

Satisfaction is short-term, fulfillment is long-term. The difference might not be visible on the outside, but it will be in terms of performance…it is like investing in an iphone and being able only to make a phone call…no internet, no apps. All the potential is there, but you cannot tap into it. Buying a new cover for it would make it look pretty, but not much more useful.

Most businesses have an incredible amount of expertise, ideas and perspectives, but they remain untapped as pissed off managers do not have the energy, intention and skills to bring out the best in their employees who ultimately seek revenge in less visible and more harmful ways.

This article is not about criticizing middle-management, it is the exact opposite. They have a very difficult job and they need more support as they have the power to make or break a business.

Csaba Toth
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Csaba Toth

Founder at ICQ Global
Author of Uncommon Sense in Unusual Times, developer of the multi award-winning Global DISC model
Csaba Toth
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