One of my enduring nightmarish memories of corporate life in the late 20th century and early noughties was centred on the slavish adherence to the annual appraisal. It was never that I didn’t enjoy the chance to converse with bosses or my team, it was just that the whole pantomime that surrounded the conversation was so staged, inauthentic and ultimately rigged that it always ruined any goodwill I wanted to create and nurture.
More than two thirds of the people around the world work away from the office at least once every week, and while that statistic isn’t particularly shocking, it tells us that flexible work hours and ‘work from home’ are ingrained into the modern job culture. But, could the set-your-own-hours mentality be stretched further? How about transitioning your organisation into working four days a week instead of the traditional five?
What makes one company more successful than another? Is a committed motivated workforce a differentiator between two competing firms? Damn right it is. Gallup’s Workforce Survey records that 8% of the UK workforce is engaged at work – with twice that number being actively disengaged in their jobs. If we could get those people to care about their colleagues and their work then improved success awaits.
I remember last year my CEO asked me to find out how many working mothers we had in our employment (total pop m+f c 90k). Although the data is not stored in that fashion making a few assumptions I sat down with him and had a conversation about the answer, but more importantly that I was worried that this might not be the right question.
Remember the early 90s, when the mobile phones were not there. The only way to communicate to an out of office employee was landline phone or personal message via a colleague. Today there is no distinction between professional and personal lives as we are always connected.
We have been discussing innovations in the HR Tech space. Key benefits include the reduction in costs, raising productivity and improving employee retention amongst many others. Overall, one of the biggest advantages is that it helps HR become far more strategic. A strategic HR function entails increasing employee productivity and using HR to implement strategies over a period of time with the agenda of creating an organization ready for the future.
How does AI help formulate a Strategic HR function?
Given that AI and machine learning are permeating through all facets of an organisation, it is only natural to expect that Culture Building would be one of the key areas that stand to benefit.
How does the deployment of emerging AI digital technologies help build Culture?
A friend once told me that he respects all religions, as long as people “really commit to whatever that religion is by attending some house of worship weekly.” He could not see that he was validating religion against the Judeo-Christian framework. Many religions don’t have a house of worship, and many don’t have a requirement of weekly attendance.
Toxic leaders cannot exist alone. They need an environment in which they can flourish and followers who don’t challenge them. If you see toxic leadership within your organisation, you’re going to see elements of the following.
The Conducive Environment
For toxic leaders to be successful, they need an environment where they can thrive. There are four elements that contribute towards a conducive environment: instability, perceived threat, questionable values and standards and an absence of governance.
I’m currently giving some thought to the team culture I’m going to need in my latest project. When you think about culture change, it always seems a bit, well, MASSIVE. It’s knowing where to start. But in fact, sometimes it needs no more than a sharp tug on a piece of string….
Years ago, I started on a programme where the client told us that IT was hindering rather than helping the organisation. Systems were complicated, the technology was something of a Dark Art and the IT team was remote and unhelpful.