A combination of the following behaviours and conditions, seen consistently over a period of time, can be a sign that things are not well in an organisation.

  • Senior management is missing in action; especially during crises.
  • Management is alienated from the workforce on a day-to-day basis. Private car parks, isolated suites, personal elevators.
  • Management uses marketing speak to communicate with staff (marketing and internal messages are indistinguishable.)
  • Orders and messages from senior management appear to directly contradict or deny the day-to-day reality of the organisation.
  • Organisational strategies that make no sense – instead of solving quality or production problems, the organisation engages in a branding campaign.
  • “Just doing what I’m told” syndrome – including doing work that make no sense.
  • Pervasive “not my problem” syndrome. Minimal collaboration.
  • Paranoid distrust of HR systems and processes. Incidents are not reported. Surveys are not responded to.
  • Widespread cynicism about all organisational initiatives. Responding by doing the minimal to meet requirements.
  • Hot-desking for “permanent” staff.
  • Biscuits are kept under lock and key.