Dear Aunty B,
Our industry and our company is going through a very rough patch at the moment and I am finding it very hard to keep morale up.
The biggest problem I have is that people are retreating into little silos. They are creating “us” and “them” teams, or worse just focusing on themselves and their own achievements and bitching about everyone else.
We have had to downsize and everyone is really grumpy now about sharing resources, whereas they used to be a bit more patient.
I urgently need to address this. Have you got some suggestions?
Good on you for identifying this as a problem. I am always amazed at companies that reward their leadership team based on a silo approach.
When things are going well for the company it is not such a problem. But when things are tough, people bunker down and focus on their key areas, and this can mean people start to pull in different directions. And companies always have those individuals who are happiest working on their own, a trait that gets exacerbated when the individual feels they can achieve more when going solo and dumping the team.
There are lots of things you can do. Firstly, you need to start talking about the company’s vision and goals a lot more. Secondly, you can get people in one division undertaking a project in another division. Thirdly, look out for group activities that are going to make the staff as a whole feel good. That might be a fund raising activity, applying for awards, training or recreational activity.
Finally, add a KPI to the leadership team based on the overall company’s results. You could even make that a commission that will get everyone pulling in the same direction.
Your Aunty B