Actions Louder Than Words in Creating Workplace Environment

Fortune Magazine recently unveiled its annual list of top companies to work for. What type of work environment do you seek to foster for your organization? If you took a poll of employers, most would say: one that promotes communication, creativity and teamwork; a workplace with opportunities for employees to play a tangible role in moving the organization forward. A place where views and opinions are respected, considered and acted upon.

So what dynamics are at play when, in reality, an organization takes almost the opposite approach—micromanaging employees and work product, squashing creativity and limiting both internal and external communication? A place where professionals are not treated as such but, instead, are electronically spied on by management, questioned as to who they go to lunch with and publicly attacked in hallways.

In a word: fear.

Organizations unwilling to listen, learn, adapt, respect or communicate are run (and running) scared—that clients will leave; that employees are trying to “pull one over” on them or somehow take advantage; that they will lose control. Ironically, when management berates employees publicly and operates unethically and unprofessionally in general, they have already lost control. Clients, employees and reputations are lost from there.