Failure at Workplace: Designing and Applying Public Relations
I work a business which requires a very well developed public relations. Our company provides consultancy service to small and medium sized entrepreneurs (SMEs). The most important problem that many SMEs have is the quality of their stuff. Mostly, high school graduates are assigned as managers in the SMEs and it makes it harder for our company to explain things to them because they do not have any technical skills at the beginning. We may need to help them in many fields from legal issues to some technical issues in finance. The worst side of this situation, mostly these managers contact our company to receive help from our specialists and professionals.
Our company follows a recruitment policy which requires workers with at least two languages, a master degree in a relevant field, and well developed skills of communication. The wage offered to workers are higher than the wages offered for many other jobs and because of this highly competitive people apply to our company. At the beginning it looks perfect for the company, however, we have realized something negative a few months later. Our specialists are from different fields; some of them are finance people, some others are economists, and some others are business engineers and some other fields such as environment protection engineer, accountant, lawyer. They all have high level of education and very well developed skills in their fields, but there is a problem: most of them does not have any experience. The worst thing is that our top manager does have only a few years of managing experience. All the workers would like to improve our business, however, we could not develop a well designed organization and all the specialists think they are right about the disputes at the workplace and our manager is being late mostly to make decisions and sometimes even if he makes decisions on time, he is making wrong decisions.
All these negative organization problems are creating very importance trouble in our business: Not a well designed and applied public relations. All the workers at the workplace have to contact with our clients. Each speacialist has a different field, thus when a client applies to us, he or she might need to get consultancy from a few specialists in different fields, and different specialists without creating a consensus among them, they make advices to the client and sometimes specialists suggestions to the client might conradict. In a case of dispute, our workplace needs a function which will solve disputes between people and our top manager is assigned to do this task or to create a function to do this. Unfortunately, our manager still could not do this and his decisions are mostly late or vague and not helping us.
Loss of Trust
This situation is creating a loss of trust among our specialists and other professionals. Mostly, they believe they are right and they do not know how to make an agreement and create a policy of advising clients without any conflict with other specialists. Because they do not know this, their communication is getting lower and lower after every business case. The lower level of communication is bringing a loss of trust among them.
Fear of Conflict
All the specialists are aware of this situation and they have developed a negative attitude at the workplace. Each dispute among the specialists are ending with pyschological pressure on the specialists and even sometimes the top manager is blaiming them or some of them. Top manager is making them feel that their job is not secure at work even though they have very high level skills and a good education background. The attitude that the specialists have developed at the workplace has started changing their decision making processes and their participation to the workplace.
Lack of Commitment
At the recruitment process, all the specialists were very energitic and excited about the jobs they will do. Especially, they were getting a higher wage that many other workers in the labor market and this higher level of wage have created an expectation for them: a high quality of workplace organization, work processes and higher career opportunities. The company recruitment service has also given some clues to them and they helped them also develop their expectations from the workplace.
However, after a few months later the conflict at the workplace has started and now all the specialists have lost their believes that this work will help them develop their careers. Because of that, most of them have started looking for a new job and they carefully are avoiding to make any commitment about this workplace.
This negative situation is also influencing new recruits: at their initial month, they are suspicious about the workplace and the previously hired workers are influencing them negatively. The number of people who is willing to apply for a position in our company is also decreasing, because some ex-workers have posted negative comments on some online job hunting pages and social media.
All these negative developments at the workplace is feeding each other and everyday we are losing some more workers. At work, no one is happy and it looks like no one is willing to contribute to the work anymore. They are spending most of their times to look for another job and sometimes we are getting warned by the top manager and he is threatening us to fire. Actually this threatening is not working, because we are indifferent between getting fired and quitting the job.
I would create a total vision for everybody at the workplace. To do this, I would gather all workers and make some meetings on what we really should do at work. All the workers should express their wishes and expectations from the workplace. With a good moderation, I could get them on a vision that everybody accepts.
After creating this vision, I could create some tasks from this vision and assign them to different workers.
I would create some interlinked responsibilities to make sure that they contact each other regularly at a professional base so they can understand each other more and they can cooperate better.
I would create an irregularity management function at the workplace and I would hire a woman psychologist for this position. Women are better observers and as a psychologist, she could report me the disputes and inform me about the pyschological backgrounds of these disputes. Depending on this irregularity monitoring, I would develop some strategies inclusive of trainings at work, team working development exercises and other applications. Even recruitment policies and hiring policies would be adjusted to the results from the irregularity management processes. Because irregularities appear when organizational mistakes or wrong decisions exist.
Lencioni, P. (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Jossey-Bass. San Fransisco, CA, U.S.A.