Everyone is competing for time and money! (Read: Houston, we have a problem!)

Most of you will have witnessed the conflict caused by people competing for time and money. There will be varying degrees of conflict depending on the mission or philosophy, structure, systems, job design and leadership in the organisation.

The conflict shows itself through peoples thinking and behaviour which will vary from one organisation to another, one department to another and will even vary between different teams. 

Often, during the exploration phase of an HPtE Strategy™, I will meet with Employees and their representatives (Unions) separately from the Management Team to get their perspectives. The following list of symptoms are pretty consistent across many organisations.

This picture is from an actual workshop with Employees and their Representatives.
This picture is from an actual workshop with Managers from the same company.

Such a work environment is painful, expensive and inefficient!  It is also not conducive to quality service or innovation and it is definitely not sustainable. A workplace with any one of these issues is missing out on potential performance.

Check your organisation:

  • Dis-engaged workforce
  • Nine to Fivers
  • Stifled creativity
  • Poor goodwill
  • Conflict (between departments, functions, individuals etc)
  • Strike threats
  • Grievances
  • Staff turn over
  • Pessimism
  • No-man’s land (usually during bargaining)
  • Blame
  • Breakdown’s in trust
  • Dictatorship
  • Our way or the highway
  • Ignored protocols
  • Short term focus
  • Increased expense
  • In-efficiency
  • Labour shortage (often described as “talent shortage”)
  • Work to rule
  • Stagnation
  • Buying loyalty

What is missing? Can you think of any others to add to the list? Comment below.

All of these behaviours can be grouped into either “aggressive defensive” or “passive defensive”. People are either trying to force change or resist change. Some of these behaviours are both passive and aggressive.

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P.s. Here is a link to the next post: A serious workplace problem – “Conflict” (HPtE #10)

2 thoughts on “22 serious problems when people compete for time and money (HPtE #9)

  1. Some of those behaviours are at the extreme end of the spectrum. That doesn’t mean they are not there in some shape or form. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are not in your organisation.

    There is a term “sub-clinical” used in medicine. To a layman like me, it means that the disease is there, probably doing damage, but hasn’t presented itself as obvious yet.

    If you aren’t getting the results you want from your people and it’s not obvious what’s missing, then check for signs of these behaviours at a “sub-clinical” level. Or just ask the people at the coalface what’s really going on.

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