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Blog: HR must not let uninspiring company cultures set in

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5th Sep 2011
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Some news that shocked me last week was that which described how over 300,000 children live in homes where no-one had any experience of work.

It seems strange to think that so many children could be living in an environment where work is so alien. When this type of culture becomes established it can be difficult to break. While findings like this can be troubling though, it should also make us wonder if similar cycles are taking place in the work place. More directly, are there pockets of your business in which a negative culture has developed?   While governments obviously need to worry about more than balancing the books when deciding on policy, there seem to be few people that disagree with the idea that anyone who can work, should work. In the public’s view there are a long list of jobs that individuals on benefits should be doing to help society as a way of earning their benefits. If implemented well, this sort of policy could encourage growth and help to motivate the terminally unemployed to appreciate the positive effect a hard day’s work can have. The same is true in business, and most pertinent for HR. If you’ve let a culture of underachievement and lack of development fester in parts of your organisation, it’s little wonder that employees don’t progress in the way you’d hoped.  Just like the kids living in jobless homes, the problem for your employees may simply boil down to the fact that they have no role models around them. If only they could see how and why others had progressed that might spur them to make the changes they need to do the same.  Companies should be looking across the different areas of their business for where a weak company culture exists, and identify the pockets where strong leadership is required. This needs to include areas where training and development hasn’t existed before for whatever reason. If this has been the case for a long time, what’s to say there won’t be a new gem available that would benefit from some proper training and development?  The point is that businesses need to identify and correct a culture of ineptitude that has set into particular areas of their business, just as the government has need to identify and correct a culture of unemployment that has developed in its benefits system.
 Karen Murphy is co-founder of leadership development programme provider, Muika Leadership. We really welcome any and all contributions from the community, so please feel free to share your views and opinions with us, your colleagues and peers via our blogs section.  

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