How Company Culture Impacts Well Being
Recently, I commented on a LinkedIn post, a quote by Bill Marklein; “Culture is how employees’ hearts and stomachs feel about Monday morning on Sunday night”.
My comment: “2:30 Sunday afternoon is often referred to as ‘the saddest hour in America’. It doesn't have to be this way…..”
The post struck a chord. Also called “the hour of ennui,” Sunday afternoon has long been one of the most stressful yet least talked about feelings among employees in organizations large and small. The excitement and anticipation (relief?) felt on Friday afternoon (prompting the still popular acronym “TGIF”), wains as Sunday afternoon brings the realization that it’s back to work come Monday morning. And for far too many, work means stress, tension, ambiguous work rules and requirements, lack of genuine appreciation, and little opportunity for learning and growth.
Human Synergistics has identified three major culture styles in organizations: Aggressive/Defensive, Passive/Defensive, and Constructive. While the Constructive style is found in consistently high-performing organizations, the most common style is Passive/Defensive, characterized by behaviors such as keep your head down, take no risks, make no decisions, do what you’re told, even if you know there is a better way. Good work and initiative will likely go unacknowledged while mistakes will bring reprimand, often in full view of others.
Recently I was asked to work on a culture improvement project with a fast-growing business. Interviews with employees at all levels of the organization provided needed insights into the operating environment. There was a great deal of stress and tension and the “2:30 Sunday afternoon” quote was mentioned to a long-standing employee. Their reaction was to suggest a revision from “2:30 Sunday afternoon” to “2:30 Monday morning.”
There is little doubt that the tenor and tone of organizational culture is largely a reflection of the organization’s leadership. But it doesn’t end there. Supervisory and managerial excellence throughout the organization is found in high-performing companies. This doesn’t happen by accident but by plan.
What is your plan for developing the skills and talents of your supervisors and managers?
For more information and ideas to improve, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.