Thursday, April 03, 2008

Take the test - I double-dog DARE ya!

I'm not one for on-line tests - they tend to be too general, statistically unreliable and don't reflect reality (not to mention the fact that I usually fail them). I recently saw this quiz and figured it would be harmless to give it a go - guess again my friends.....

The quiz, which you can apply to yourself, a "friend" or even a whole group is about bullying behaviors and if you answer yes to more than 5 of the 25 questions, you've got a big red flag flying. When I first looked at the questions, I thought "oh, that's silly, no one in the office is really unethical, are they?" ,but after a bit more thought, yes.... some really are. As I scrolled down this list of 25 preposterous behaviors, I was alarmed that I have actually seen more than half in my business - some of which even I have been guilty of.

The scary part is not the shame at our behavior, it's the risk we place upon our organizations. Simple workplace bully behavior doesn't make the top-10 list of most HR leader's greatest fears and THAT is what makes it so dangerous; it's insidious and endemic in the organization. People know the behaviors go on, but don't address them because it's not stopping the flow of revenue and no one is threatening to sue, yet...

The fact is that by ignoring or allowing the behaviors, the company is actually making a statement that the behaviors are ok. THAT is the real problem - how can you defend your company from a discrimination or harassment suit when the very behaviors that prompted the claim are accepted by your management every day?

Create a culture that does not tolerate uncivil behavior. Take a stand for decency no matter who the offender is - if it's your CEO or top grossing sales person - nip it in the bud! The payoff for doing so extends well beyond the obvious risk reduction; you'll see better morale, better results and lower turnover - and those things are NEVER bad!