Stories of Ghosts and Goblins: Is your corporate culture a Hallowe’en nightmare?


By Morag Barrett on October 31, 2013

Posted by Morag Barrett | October 31, 2013Stories of Ghosts and Goblins: Is your corporate culture a Hallowe’en nightmare?It’s Hallowe’en, the one night of the year when ghosts, goblins and all things spooky rise up to scare the neighborhood. Tonight our doorbell will be ringing as the neighborhood comes alive with trick-or-treating antics… hopefully more treating than tricking! The costumes, home-made and store-purchased seem to get more elaborate each year, as does the size of the bag to collect the candy!  The carved pumpkin displays have become more ornate and intricate and replaced the simple Jack-o’-lantern I remember carrying on a stick as a child.All of these customs may feel new but can, in fact, be traced back hundreds of years.  Hallowe’en is a night of mischievousness, followed by a day of peace and reflection.  What you may not be aware of is that November 1st, is All Saints Day, an antidote to all things creepy that may have occurred the night before.Is your corporate culture a Hallowe’en nightmare?Company culture can be summed up as “how business gets done”.  Without care and attention a healthy culture can become toxic, a Hallowe’en nightmare that lasts more than one night a year.  In our work with clients around the world there are three immediate opportunities to move a corporate culture forward and make that it is not stuck in the dark night…Remove the Hallowe’en Mask – Organizational values are a great tool.  However a poster is NOT the way to go.  If you want a corporate culture built on trust, candor, teamwork then your ACTIONS need to demonstrate this.  If your employees feel the need to wear a mask or costume to fit in and be successful then things need to change.  The change starts at the highest level of the organization – role modeling the expectations, not by a memo or motivational poster.Change the Stories – Do your employees tell spooky tales about your company and the villain’s past and present that work(ed) there? Following a new-hire orientation do your veteran employees “tell the new staff how things really get done around here?” Stories are a powerful way to change corporate cultures.  Look for the opportunities to reinforce and share the good-news stories.  Tales that celebrate the successes and behaviors that are desired, rather than the toxic horror stories that may have been.Reward the best – Make sure that your reward processes (whether monetary, promotion, or trophies and symbols) recognize the “treat’s” you want reinforced and not the “tricks” that may keep you stuck.Make sure you are not building or maintaining a Hallowe’en nightmare, remove the masks, change the stories and reward the behaviors that will stand the test of time.To all your little ghouls and goblins, have a fun Hallowe’en!Related ArticlesTags »Cultureteam building denverTrustWorking with difficult people Share1
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