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Should Staff Be Treated Like They’re Human??

Should Staff Be Treated Like They’re Human??  Silly question, huh??  Every prudent, responsible, mature leader is going to answer yes.  Of course they should.   But maybe the question isn’t so silly considering the stories we hear from staff that believe they’re not treated like they’re human.

Let’s play a game.  The name of the game is Guess Where I Work??? Here are the rules: I’ll give you a scenario and then give you list of work places to choose from – pretty easy, right?  Ok, here we go:

Guess Where I Work????

Managers yell at their staff.  On the right day, you’ll even here a manager curse at employees.  Employees from different departments yell at each other and have no problem telling each other “where to go and how to get there”.  Disrespect is the order of the day.  Staff are treated like they’re children, and to be honest, some act like children.  Managers talk to people from other departments in a condescending, insulting manner – some thrive on embarrassing those further down the “food chain”.  Some mid-level managers are considered a joke – they have no back-bone or credibility, their own staff  disrespect them – they’re just doing time until retirement.    Turnover is high, morale is low, but at the end of the year, we meet our goals.

So where do I work?

1) A Wall Street financial brokerage firm

2) A local trucking company

3) A Human Services nonprofit

The correct answer for this case is #3 – a Human Services nonprofit.  Are you surprised???  Why or why not??

One employee said, “I’m not doing this for the money, the least they can do is treat us nice.”

Another employee said, “It’s ironic, we’re in the business of human services, but we don’t treat each other like we’re human”.

Think about what these two employees are saying – “Treat us nice, like we’re humans.”  Yes, even in the Nonprofit Sector we have to be reminded to treat each other nice, like we’re humans.





Some questions for you to consider???

1) Could this be your organization?? How do you know??

2) What does this example tell you about the culture of this organization??

3) What do you do as a leader to intentionally develop and protect the culture of your organization??

4) How can we achieve our goals/objectives and still maintain a respectful work environment??

Remember, as the leader your job is to keep your finger on the pulse of your organization – if patterns like this develop, you nip it in the bud.  Don’t allow people to be verbally/mentally bullied and abused on your watch.  The fact of the matter is that sometimes you have to protect your people from each other.

By the way, as usual in all of our case studies, don’t try to guess who it is – the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Also, you shouldn’t be trying to figure out which organization this is, you should be trying to make sure it’s never yours.

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