This is one of my absolute favourite quotes and I really believe that it is true.
People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.’ — Maya Angelou
I was really saddened to see the statistic that 41% of organisations reported an increase in employee mental health problems. This is from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK) Absence measurement and management report that was produced in conjunction with Simplyhealth.
It also makes me feel pretty angry, too, as I believe it fundamentally comes down to how we treat one another in the workplace. On the bright side it also means that we can do something about it. If we choose to.
I am not suggesting that we all need to be soft and cuddly at work, far from it. But I really do believe that we need to seriously look at corporate culture and the negative impact it is having on so many people. It cannot possibly be sustainable.
My sense is that significant change is beginning and if momentum can build behind this then the work place of the future will be a much better one than today.
There are alternatives to the ultra competitive cultures where fear of failure and fundamental greed drives a lot of behaviour. Frederic Laloux’s book, Reinventing Organizations, showcases several very different organisations that have chosen an alternative and highly successful path. Well worth reading and truly inspirational. If this is the future for corporate culture then I definitely want to be part of it!
This can mean cultural change in businesses that have been successful sometimes for years and years. Is it really needed? I believe very strongly that it is, if the statistic above isn’t evidence enough just think about recent corporate scandals and the pressures that will have driven people to behave in that way.
The next challenge I imagine you may have is that culture change is hard and how can one individual make a difference. I agree culture change can be hard and there really does need to be genuine will behind it for there to be any chance of success. However, when it comes down to it, most change starts with one person deciding to do something differently.
Is it time to make different choices?
I’d love to hear what you think about this so please do comment or contact me via our contact form noting your interest in a deeper conversation about change and making different choices in the work place. Or, call us at +44 (0)1628 471 114.