Organisations in which leaders continuously fail to uphold a united front through demonstrated action and by this I mean stand united in their decision making processes as opposed to voicing their personal biases, will struggle to gain their employees trust.
What does bring strong employee engagement (buy-in) is demonstrated alignment amongst the leadership team through one united voice and consistent language, instead of leadership teams continuously putting each other on the chopping block (dog eat dog mentality).
This kind of approach lacks credibility and influence to bring their employees on board their change initiatives which are supposedly there to better service the customers and the business holistically.
What leaders amid organisations need to realise is that they are representing a company and the company’s ethos and therefore leaders need to park their egos aside and focus on the bigger picture which does not concern their individual biases, especially if they are not in alignment with the company values.
Not one to shy away from getting value for money, I put the top 5 car insurance providers to the test last week. What dawned on me was the amount of information (PERSONAL information) these insurers were demanding before we even got to any questions about the car (yes I made it clear I was shopping around for the best deal) not signing my life away….just yet.
What struck me was the deliberate misleading by Youi insurance which started with Get a quote now on their website. I never got a quote…instead I got a reply saying thank you for your enquiry, one of our representatives will be in contact with you shortly.
The next day a Youi representative rang me and proceeded with an alarming number of personal questions, which in my mind were invasive and inappropriately pitched so say the least. Thirty minutes into the quotation and after just about giving away my entire life story, I finally got the ball park figure for the insurance premium, which was less than desirable.
I felt as though I walked away with nothing and the insurance provider walked away with all this personal information about me. Sure there are privacy laws in Australia, but where’s the guarantee I won’t be contacted in the future, by this insurance provider, even though I’d asked them to destroy all my personal information.
This experience forced me reassess future dealings with service providers and the level of control I have in disclosing my personal information. Namely, a reminder to thyself that I have the power to divulge the level of information I am comfortable with and not the other way around. Service providers can request all the information in the world but it’s up to the consumers to draw the line in the sand and say no if they feel the questions are plainly inappropriate or unwarranted.
Do you feel like your privacy boundaries have been pushed by service providers beyond your comfort? How have you dealt with the situation?
Challenging the status quo in a business environment is no different to an individual and/or lawyer challenging existing regulation or legislation practice. In the same way that Judges have been known to hand down wrong decisions, so have leaders by implementing rigid systems/protocols without regular review to ensure its relevance and/or need to adapt.
Instead we end up training our employees to literally engage in robotic behaviour …..either it ticks the box or you (the customer) are out. As opposed to looking at each situation on an individual basis, on its own merit and thinking critically whether in fact the system/protocol requires adjusting to accommodate a change in environment or more importantly a change in customer needs.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong advocate of compliance practices and have seen the benefits in adopting such practices, but there has to be a balance. Compliance practices need to be challenged and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure relevance in the current business environment. Compliance isn’t just about conformity, it’s about respect for others and accountability. Leaders need to embrace another perspective by encouraging their employees to speak up and challenge the status quo which is critical in today’s ever changing business environment. Having a workforce that challenges ideas is paramount as it ensures robust discussions are put on the table, fosters critical thinking, challenges your own thought process and most importantly, it generates momentum and gets everyone involved.
Does your organisation encourage you to think outside the box?
Are you smothered by red tape in your organisation? Do you or can you speak up about it?