Solved by Corporate Therapy
During last year, the workplace and the workforce have gone through a lot of change. Having coped with one of the biggest challenges in change management, HR’s can pat themselves on the back. But that was last year. (Corporate) life goes on and new challenges are here. So, looking forward, not backward, what are the 9 common workplace problems HR managers don’t always see?
Employees are never fully honest with HR. No matter how great the company culture, employees can never trust HR fully. Why? Because HR are the people who hire and fire. So, unless a company has a firing manager, one can be sure that employees will never fully disclose the whole truth about their issues at work.
There is a reality perception gap among different levels of employees. The perception gap is real, and it can never be fully filled. The reason is simple: different levels of employees deal with different chunks of information, even if it’s on the same product or service. Think of it like this: even though everyone is looking at the elephant, some will see the big years, while others will see the long tail.
Employees are interpreting strategic keywords differently. When it comes to company objectives, it is not uncommon to use big generic words that sound almost like a slogan. For example, “better service at a small cost”. Great idea. But, if you run a quick questionnaire within the company asking what is “a good service”, you will find all kinds of variations from fast to long-lasting. Which is already 2 different things. To make matters more complicated, one can run a test like this on every “big word” in the company agenda. This phenomenon is called the lens in psychology and it should be addressed in order to avoid misunderstandings.
HR tend to motivate employees with what they think they want, not what they truly want. We have all been in a situation where we are given more and more of what we don’t need. If this can happen on the interpersonal level, it can happen in the corporate world, too. Sometimes, unless you ask, you are never able to guess what motivates even your closest colleague.
Having the skill set does not equal using the skill set. And company structure has nothing to do with it. Just because someone knows what needs to be done, does not mean that they will do (anything about it). Let’s be honest: there is duty and expertise. And then there is willingness. There is only one secret to unlocking employee willingness: them feeling good at work. If employees don’t feel good at work, they will stick to expertise and duty only.
The Individual Self of employees does not equal the Corporate Self. Just because someone is a nice person does not mean they are a nice colleague. There is a difference between the Corporate Self and the human self. And the beliefs these 2 selves operate on can be different. For example, a certain Sam may believe that money matters, but his Corporate Self may believe that career depends on good relationships with the colleagues. And so Sam will always prioritize work relationships over money.
Employees tend to choose peace of mind over advancement. The future of business lies in advancement whereas the future of an employee relies on their stable position. That is already a contradiction in itself and, unless we are talking about the highest level of executives, HR must bear in mind that company push forward (with all the risk that it carries) is not a natural thing to employees. So the power of extra incentive should never be underrated.
There is a difference between being misjudged and feeling misjudged. Due to this phenomenon, sometimes, HR end up fixing the wrong problem. More than 50% of the time, the real cause of the problem is not so much an objective issue that needs to be fixed but rather a subjective opinion that needs to change. Think of it this way: if you underdeliver on the function that you don’t like, you will blame it on the function rather than your ability to deliver. If you enjoy the function and you fail, you are more likely to take on constructive criticism. So, it is important to identify the real cause of the problem before dealing with the consequence.
HR do not measure the soft side of enterprise enough. By the soft side of enterprise we mean employee engagement, workplace satisfaction and other types of criteria that are a qualitative description of the workplace. Turns out, there is over 80% correlation between the hard success criteria and the soft success criteria in the workplace. Simply put it, if employees feel good, they sell better. And vice versa.
These 9 problems are frequent and almost inevitable in the workplace. But they are not unsolvable. Corporate Therapy deals with these and all other human-related problems in the workplace. Which is 90% of the company problems.