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If You Don't Use it, You've Lost it!!!

In the last decade I have personally witnessed what appears to be a management culture shock in the advertising community. What I mean by this is that many years ago the advertising business was FUN. Don't get me wrong, it was late nights, hard work, constant learning and just want to make sure I punctuated HARD WORK!!! However employees felt comfortable discussing their ideas, issues and gripes with their teams and bosses, employees felt valued, there was a sense of community and despite the late hours and loads of work the overall consensus was that people were generally happy and wanted to grow their careers.

Fast forward to 2010 and later, mergers, takeovers, acquisitions, newly created teams, new structures, new management, the competition is fierce, and employees become over worked and undervalued. What the heck happened? I combined my personal experience and countless hours of conversations with over 200 people which led me to my conclusion and insight, that companies lost their sense of culture, which resulted in employees' negative attitude.

This earthquaking culture erosion evolved (or rather devolved) when companies who had once created a sense of family, community, trust and a solid work environment expanded, becoming huge relatively thoughtless conglomerates. What these companies didn't do was communicate with and educate their employees, across all levels, on the impact these mergers and growth would have on their teams and organization as a whole, what the new expectations were, and what the new CULTURE of the company would be. The biggest problem was not instilling a "new" improved company culture and values which led to clashes, anxiety, fear, stress and an overall lack of productivity across departments, divisions and even sister organizations. Everyone worked differently because they weren't taught how to come together in the new environment.

What is needed from executive leaders NOW, is the ability to:

  • Listen, and not instinctively react

  • Effectively communicate with their teams, often and properly

  • Have the right people skills to manage their employees

  • Show collaboration and openness, rather than have the team be internally competitive and combative

  • Build trust and a safe and comfortable environment, rather than having employees work in fear.

  • Motivate and create incentives, and not have people do the bare minimum because they need their paycheck.

  • Implement, and not just talk about it.

This is not something that's easily accomplished, and requires education, patience, openness, communication, clarity, and the willingness to shift the mindset. These hurdles are common, but with the proper approaches and techniques companies can regain their culture and rebuild trust, and in return employees will appreciate being appreciated in their workplace and become more productive and proactive.

Please contact Inspired Action at Work at for more information.

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