Company Contention: Stepping into The Ring

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Posted by Stephanie Leschman - 26 December, 2017

At one point or another, I bet you’ve wished you had a boxing ring in your office where you could step in and solve problems, WWE style. 

Wouldn’t it make things simpler?

 Let’s say you have a disagreement with a co-worker or manager, no more passive aggressive attitude or conversations, you could simply step into the ring and have at it until you hear the bell. Unfortunately, we all have experienced company contention and it is never that easy.

It’s all too common to hear people talking about how frustrated they are with their job in some shape or form. Just the other night I grabbed dinner with a friend and she told me all about the changes her company was about to make. She works for a nationally recognized corporate company that has thousands of employees. She disclosed that they recently hired an outside consulting firm to come in and evaluate employee performance. Because of this outside consulting company, employees are now going to have to fill out a weekly rating sheet that will evaluate their current performance in addition to comparing performances against other employees. She was livid! She expressed that she is a great employee, never misses a deadline, and is frustrated that they are about to treat her like a child. She just couldn’t understand the point of it. Sure, the company might see an immediate spike in performance from their employees due to the fear of being ranked last. However, if they stopped and considered the lasting effects of this decision, they would notice that the competition they are about to create will be detrimental. Instead of working together, employees will turn against one another, creating a very disconnected culture.

As I listened to this story, I started to think about how common this must be. Companywide changes being implemented and employees reacting negatively to them can result in a very hostile environment. Did her company explain the reasoning behind the change or is it simply a matter of one person underperforming? Does the employer only value quantitative data without taking other potential performance measures into account? Instead of dealing with the individual, did they take the easy route of making this rating system mandatory for everyone? Whatever the reason was, it stirred up a lot of negative emotions that could be damaging to the company’s culture and overall employee performance.

For most companies, no matter how big or small, there is a clear split between the employer and the employees. It’s too bad that we don’t have a referee standing in between the two groups, making technical violations, stalling, or out-of-bounds calls. This divide can cause lack of transparency, poor communication, and each side being unaware of what the other really wants. In this four-part series, we are going to have both groups step into the ring and have our own WWE smackdown to find out who really is the true winner.

Next week, Round 1 will start, and you don’t want to be late and miss your front row seat to Manager vs. Employee. Who will win this battle?

Topics: communication, culture, leadership, management


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