Services and Retail
Employee ExperienceDigital Transformation

Common mistakes in culture and HR

Too many companies try to raise engagement by launching disconnected initiatives. Although, they lack the specific mechanisms that lift employee engagement and link directly to purpose and customer advocacy.
Dorothée Laire

We enjoyed reading Brian Solis’ research on common mistakes in culture & HR. We believe these are spot on and like to share them with you.

  1. The employee playbook was written before the internet was born. Many company cultures are risk averse, built around strict processes, procedures and rules. But the world has changed. Companies must create safe and empowered environments where employees can learn, contribute and take risks.
  2. Employee engagement is too often a monologue instead of a dialogue. Leaders must truly listen to employees (hear employees’ challenges, ideas and ambitions). A lot of managers talk about employee-centricity but very few work on ‘real centricity’ by focusing on building employee experiences and relationships…not just stakeholder and shareholder value.
  3. Email communication and meetings are stifling creativity and collaboration. A culture that fears taking risks is one filled with meetings. Meetings make people feel important, make people feel safe and reduce accountability in real decision-making. Holacracy, if well installed and implemented, is a great remedy (http://www.holacracy.org/). 
  4. Holacracy empowers people to make meaningful decisions in pursuit of a company’s purpose. Curious about holacracy, we are happy to connect you with our holacracy experts.
  5. IT isn’t created for the people using it. Companies put process and technology first, building their organisation around applications and tools they are familiar with rather than looking at how their employees connect, communicate and learn in their real lives. It’s time to make work human-centered.This requires empathy to see and do things differently.
  6. There is no employee experience, only employer experience. Managers need to embrace reverse mentoring to introduce empathy into traditional (rigid and risk-averse) cultures. Companies investing in human understanding and design will win. Start with employee journey mapping to better understand the day-to-day reality of your employees and craft winning moments of truth within their journey.
  7. Extrinsic rewards only have a marginal effect on employee engagement. HR policies and reward mechanism are dated and often irrelevant.
  8. Leaders haven’t connected the dots between customer satisfaction and employee happiness. Companies do not innovate or service, people do! Your employees are the ones servicing your customers. From sales to logistics, everyone is responsible for their own little part in the overall customer journey. How your employees perform on a daily basis, directly affects your customer experience. The more engaged employees are, the more happy they will be to deliver a good experience to your customers.
  9. Millennials! Too many (HR) managers state their biggest challenge are millennials. This means an entire generation is currently viewed as problematic simply because they were raised differently and the whole “command and control” workplace feels alien to them? Every generation is different and complains about the one before and after. This gets us nowhere. Let’s focus on change by enabling employee and customer aspirations.
  10. Companies try to create a ‘hip’ culture by investing in open space, cool desks, lockers and food programs. That’s great but remember those external motivators have a temporary effect on employee engagement. Playing darts at work does not get you out of bed. Companies cannot hipster their way to engagement.
  11. Truth be told, there is very little leadership these days. As a result day-to-day work remains dictated, not inspired. Employee engagement and satisfaction are assumed and not cultivated.

In summary, looking at the above mistakes and our experience in various sectors, too many companies try to raise engagement by launching disconnected initiatives (employee events, newsletters, wellness programs, …) . Such initiatives improve employee morale but have a mere temporary effect. They lack the specific mechanisms that lift employee engagement the most and link directly to purpose and customer advocacy.

Thanks for reading

Contact our expert

Dorothée Laire

Share blog