“I need to go get my beating,” Employee Morale is Low

Sometimes we must seek to find humor in pain. For many of us it’s the only way to maintain our mental composure.  It’s a mental protection system.  You probably can stop and picture when you have done this yourself.  We even have habitual phrases we use for situations like: “I meant to do that,” or “That’s going to leave a mark,” or “It’s not the fall but the sudden stop that hurts.” In all of those phrases you can almost see the pain. Oh, I am cringing as I write this.

Yesterday we received an email that was very funny and also reflected a lot of pain. It was obvious the sender was trying to use humor to replace the pain and salvage some sanity.  I am going to show it to you in a moment but I want to give you some context to best put it in perspective.

Beyond Morale is a company that provides memberships for an online leadership and employee engagement system. Here’s a quick clip of the program developer, so you know what it is.  Just like every other company in the world we need to feed our families and we must sell memberships for the service to do that.  During an email inquiry our Engagement Director Dave received this reply when prospecting a potential member:

Mr. Rembach,

I am still very interested in your program, however, it turns out that my company isn’t serious about employee empowerment or morale in general. They don’t understand the connection between morale and productivity and they especially aren’t interested in spending any money to empower employees or improve morale.

They believe if they push harder the employees will respond, turns out that isn’t working. As it turns out we are the masters of doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you’re familiar with Einstein you should get the gist of that statement.

In short, I haven’t chosen another company, I am still interested. However, no matter how interested I am, the people that should be and need to be interested aren’t.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to get to my beating … evidently they will continue until morale improves.

Good day Sir

After you stop laughing . . . can’t you see the pain through the humor.  After I stopped laughing, I needed to know what this company presented to the public about their company (mission statement, values, etc.).  Here are some of the things that jumped out at me:

  • All of the senior leadership had experience with Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma and Kaizen
  • They mention an intense focus on continuous improvement
  • They site the delivery of service through integrity
  • They mention Christian and Old Fashioned values, unquestioned honesty and inspired teamwork

So when do Christian values include opening up a can of whoop ass and knocking heads?  Are the supervisors Catholic Nuns with knuckle smacking rulers in their hands?  You can probably say words like values, integrity, and honesty have become very standard marketing spin activities.  I would agree with that.

It seems very clear in this company and in several others that Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen are very good at removing wasteful spending while being even better at de-humanizing the work environment.   The intense focus looks like it is out of control limits (Six Sigma lingo) and needs to be refocused on human needs.

As for the unquestioned honesty I have to ask, “Is putting a Bible verse on your website and using the word integrity really reflective of your culture?”

To get greater insights on how you can implement human values from every major religion (including Christian) and create inspired teamwork in your workplace then get your free copy of the ebook 7 Keys to Employee Engagement now.

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