The wrong mindset is causing organisations to fail.
I heard a story about a discussion amongst management and senior staff in an organisation recently (a true story and i’d say more common than you might think). I know of the organisation for a while and consider their management practices as from somewhere in the 1950’s. It’s completely hierarchical, sometimes abusive and controlled by unseen stakeholders who couldn’t be less interested in the welfare of their employees. Leveraging a great brand allows them to function – but even that isn’t helping now.
If they actually took time to understand their culture (which is awful) and its impact, they would still resist change to their last manager. Even the impact on clients doesn’t seem to matter so long as the revenues keep coming in. Currently (post-covid) they are haemorrhaging staff and are unable to get replacements – so the the organisation is imploding as the strain on existing staff is intolerable and increasing the rate of the numbers leaving. Newer staff doing internships have no intention of ever working there when their time is up – preferring other organisations. Suddenly (!) those all important revenues are under threat.
Recently their management discussions start with something like “young people these days” and one or two managers that have been on google mention “Gen Z” and “Quiet Quitting.” They blame the new generations for their current travails. The transcripts of exit interviews are sneered at. Typical comments are “They fancy themselves as a bit special.” “They just don’t work as hard”. “Such an attitude”. Nobody with enough autonomy has yet turned around and suggested “maybe we are doing something wrong?”.
Three main points to understand:
1. The newer generations mindsets are different but not necessarily wrong.
2. The companies who evolve their leadership. management and their culture will attract and retain these highly trained, techno-literate, multitasking and competent people. These people have the competencies your organisation needs – they are no longer at the centre of your organisation but at the edges facing clients.
3. Those organisations that do not evolve will fail, go extinct, or disappear as the changed/changing environment puts serious evolutionary pressure on you.
The idea that people should be happy to have a job should be consigned to a theme park of 20th century thinking. Instead of whining about attitude, think about leveraging the mindset and looking for the opportunities. The more agile and flexible your approach the more likely your organisation can evolve – and for many organisations right now, it’s evolve or die.
Aidan Higgins BE MBA is the founder of ADEO Consulting Ltd and a Leadership, Emotional Intelligence and Teamwork specialist and Coach, who has worked with leaders and teams at all levels of the private and public sectors. He has over 30 years experience working in various capacities with individuals, teams and organisations of all sizes. He is the author of LeadFromYou – We need aware, authentic and emotionally intelligent leaders. – now available in Paperback and Kindle on Amazon and in audiobook form via Audible and iTunes.