An organisation wonders if it has a particular problem with stress—more than is typical…
I ask whether the employees believe management cares about them, really wondering to what degree that is true. The response “Oh no, we wouldn’t want that” was so striking to me that I still wonder if my contact was half-joking. But even if he was joking, he was, as I say, only half-joking.
The same organisation has a culture where acting hard and tough seems to be seen as a good thing to do, or expected.
Now of course hard decisions need to be made. Let’s take that as read—and, funnily enough, real toughness might well work as a culture—but pretending to be hard when you’re not?
There’s a cause of stress for employees right there.
To pretend not to care when you do… I don’t see much upside in that for a manager unless it really is a rewarded behaviour. And then the culture is off.
I believe it’s quite possible (and beneficial) to be tough or demanding and care at the same time, and to let people see that.
But a fake hardness? A drag on the organisation, I reckon. Care deliberately withheld sounds pretty stressful to me.
What do you think?