Does Your Company Play Favorites?
Updated: Sep 6
“I didn’t know about that.”
“No one asked me.”
“When were they going to tell us about this?”
“Do they not realize how this decision will affect us?”
“Do they even know we’re here?”
These are the kind of thoughts or statements that might be heard from employees who are feeling ignored, overlooked or that their presence doesn’t matter.
In companies with multiple departments it can be a challenge to consider all points of view when making decisions. If the same group of people is continually overlooked, you may have a culture in which some departments are valued more than others – or at least that’s how it feels.
Different departments may get different amounts of attention from leadership for various reasons. It may be that the department that struggles the most stays on leadership’s radar more. It may be that the team that interfaces with customers gets more support. Or it might be that the department with the most assertive employees receives more assistance and accommodations than others.
And while there may be inherent and logical reasons that some departments get more attention from leadership than others, you don’t want to create an environment where groups of people continually feel dismissed, unappreciated or ignored.
As with many things, the game of football provides us with a great analogy for this. It’s often the quarterback, receivers and running backs that get talked about the most by sports analysts. They have the biggest fan following, sell the most merchandise and garner more sponsorships than other players. But a good football coach makes sure that all the other players are getting equitable training and resources behind the scenes.
When you're in the fourth quarter and down by two points with three seconds on the clock, it’s the right move to put the kicker on the field hoping they can win the game. At that moment, you don’t want to have the thought, “I should have spent more time supporting this player.”
The same holds true in business. When leadership favors one team over another at the expense of other teams it can pose significant risks including
Resentment among employees
Missing problems that could be easily fixed
A skewed assessment of what the company needs
Finger pointing and blaming rather than solution focused dialogue
Such dynamics are the antithesis of efficiency.
But taking a little time to be proactively tend to each department goes a long way to keeping the company competitive in any scenario.
Next week we will talk about ways to do this in your company.
Photo by Gene Gallin