MOST workers do not feel free to challenge their superiors when they feel that a wrong decision has been made with a number of organisations using threats and fear to drive action, a study has established.
According to a survey report by Industrial Psychological Consultants (IPC) titled High Performance and Execution Index Survey Report, research suggests that in most of the respondents’ organisations (67,8%), employees cannot freely challenge senior management when they feel the decision being made is wrong.
The survey also revealed that a wide variety of organisations (50,2%) use fear and threat to drive action.
The survey also found that most employees (55,5%) are evaluated based on what they do rather than on how smart they sound and one way of sounding smart is not to be critical and or criticise everything that others propose.
A majority of the workers (56,2%), the survey established, suggest that in their organisations, there are powerful and well-connected people who can stop things from being done.
The survey also revealed that many organisations (49%) spend more time contemplating and talking about organisational problems.
The survey found that 8,6% of the respondents strongly agreed that they are encouraged to talk about their failures without fear of being punished in their organisations, while 42,7% agreed, 37,4% disagreed and 11,3% strongly disagreed.
It was also revealed that 10,5% of the respondents strongly agreed that excuses and criticism for why things will not work and cannot work will not be accepted in their organisations while 41,6% of the respondents agreed, 40,2% disagreed and 7,7% strongly disagreed.
The survey found 6,1% of the respondents strongly agreed that there is no follow up done to ensure that what was said is actually done in their organisation while 22,8% of the respondents agreed, 52,9% disagreed and 18,2% strongly disagreed.
A total of 478 managerial and non-managerial employees responded to this survey. Participants were drawn from 20 economic sectors which include the retail, engineering, tourism and hospitality and automative sectors.
Of the participants, 69% of the respondents were male and 31% were female while 29,6% of the respondents were aged 33 years and below, 40,7% were 34-42 years old and 29,7% were 43 years and above.
“The findings provide support for, and insight into, the culture followed in different organisations. Company culture is at the heart of competitive advantage, because it determines how things are done and how people behave; it is the hardest thing for competitors to copy,” IPC noted in its report.
“A true high-performance organisational culture provides a company with its single greatest source of competitive advantage. The culture inspires people to go the extra mile to make and execute good decisions even when nobody is looking.”