If you are a member of Generation X or older, you might have
noticed your workplace undergoing significant changes more often than usual.
The technology used in daily operations is being updated, streamlined, and
implemented from the top-down. The language of your workplace might be changing
and evolving. The new hires appear to look younger and younger every day. As millennials
age, we will see a rising trend in places of business being dominated by millennial
culture and influence, and that just might be the answer to a necessary major
overhaul of corporate culture throughout the United States.
The Baby Boomer generation used to be the largest generation
currently employed in the United States. As they start to retire and leave the
workforce, the road is paved and shiny for millennials to fill those positions.
Since 2016, millennials
have made up a majority of the American labor force, and American work
environments are seeing the signs of progression. Millennials are an inspired
and ambitious generation, despite their reputation for lacking initiative and
being obsessed with the latest tech. Their most notable trait however is their
standards for corporate culture.
Millennials—more than any other generation—are famous for
job-hopping. Over half of working millennials have reported that they are
usually open to new job opportunities. Not only are they less likely to remain
at any one position indefinitely, but they are also more focused on the comprehensive
definitions of an organization’s culture. If corporations throughout the country
wish to continue hiring new employees, they may have to take a harder look at
their corporate culture. “Clearly, many young professionals are thinking about
more than money and are willing to sacrifice a portion of their salary in
exchange for a career move that more closely aligns with their values or
passions or improves their work-life balance,” said Kristen
Robinson, senior vice president, Women & Young Investors, Fidelity
While working millennials have previously been characterized
as desperate hamster-wheel employees struggling to pay off student loan debt,
recent studies have shown that millennials are seeking a work-life balance that
is supported by their employer. Work-life flexibility can come in many forms,
such as flexible scheduling and remote working opportunities. The
Sloan Center on Aging & Work reported “a study of more than 19,000
employees showed that stress and burnout was lower among workers engaged in all
types of flexibility arrangements.”
What we know about the
cycle of corporate culture indicates that these employees who are having
more positive work experiences through work-life balance are then pouring themselves
back into their employment, furthering the health of the organization’s culture.
According to Gallup,
teams with high employee engagement rates are 21% more productive and have 28%
less internal theft than those with low engagement. When employees are engaged,
the wheels of the corporate machine turn fluidly.
Corporations can begin the process of improving their corporate culture by soliciting an independent corporate culture audit from firms in the risk assessment and private investigation industry. If your corporation is suffering from a corporate crisis, don’t hesitate. Even if the crisis seems relatively minor, it could be symptomatic of a larger problem within your organization. Call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our brand-new Corporate Culture Audit (CCA) program. Our dedicated and qualified staff composed of former military and law enforcement officers will get to the bottom of your internal problems. With Lauth Investigations International, you can expect hands-on, comprehensive services, detailed reports, and expert recommendations. When it comes to your business or organization, you should only expect facts, not fiction.
The word whistle-blower can trigger many different feelings for Americans. Much of the nation has very dichotomous feelings about whistle-blowers, either lauding them as heroes, or vilifying them as saboteurs. Individuals at the center of these whistle-blower stories are cast in different roles depending on the route that external media decides to take. While spectators decide for themselves whether the whistle-blower had good intentions or otherwise, the real question we should be asking is what kind of corporate culture within their organization allowed these events to transpire?
Whistle-blowing is not to be confused with “leaking,” another term that often appears in these narratives. In short summation, whistle-blowing is actually defined under the Whistle-blower Protection Act, describing a disclosure of information that an employee “reasonably believes” demonstrates “a violation of law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; a gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific threat to public health and safety.” These actions amount to misconduct, and are actionable. “Leaking” describes the act of indiscriminately releasing company information, regardless of whether or not that information constitutes some degree of ethical violation. The term “leaker” can also be ascribed to a legitimate whistle-blower in order to discredit them.
In reality, it is a myth that most whistle-blowers are “snitches” who go directly to external sources like the press or watchdog groups to report their organization’s problems. In most cases that have been denoted as “whistle-blowing” there are documented attempts by the whistle-blower to try and resolve the issue within their corporation or organization. It’s when those attempts to resolve the issue internally are exhausted that whistle-blowers often find themselves without recourse, and go to the media in order to get their story out there.
This is why those who work in corporate ethics and corporate compliance recommend a healthy corporate culture in order to prevent whistle-blowing from occurring in the first place. Healthy corporate cultures promote a climate of excellent communication in the pursuit of a common goal (usually outlined by a corporation’s established values or mission statement). When an issue is brought to the attention of leadership, and they are inspired by a company’s mission statement to do something about it, that is where true corporate progress occurs. The effects of a healthy company culture can actually be cyclical. When an employee reports an issue or misconduct to leadership, they might expect to receive some push back. However, when that employee is carefully heard, and taken seriously, it can foster a sense of value in the workforce, as they now know they are agents who can effect change. This inspires a higher level of engagement in employees, which leads to higher rates of productivity, which in turn leads to happier leadership, who are then more inclined to reward employees for their hard work. That all increases morale on behalf of the entire workforce, leading to a healthy company culture.
When the goal is teamwork and collaboration, there is no need to turn to external sources to shed light on an issue. A healthy company culture will create a climate where internal issues can be discussed and resolved through teamwork—not through media attention and public outrage. Whistle-blowers are not heroes or villains, depending on who you believe, but rather a symptom of dysfunction within a corporation or organization that cannot afford to be ignored.
Virginia legislation placed on notice following the active shooter event in Virginia Beach.
In what has seemed like a death from a thousand cuts, the mass active shooter event that occurred on Friday, May 28th at a municipal building in Virginia Beach has inspired action on the part of state leadership. According toUSA Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered a legislative session devoted to exploring the current climate of gun violence in the United states. At a news conference, Northam said, “The nation is watching. We must do more than our thoughts and prayers. We must give Virginians the action they deserve.”
It was a public works employee who killed 12 people last week—another senseless tragedy in a long line of mass shootings that have spiked in recent years. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, shootings accounted for 79% of all workplace homicides in 2016. Statistics from the Office of Victims of Violent Crime indicate this number has not only risen dramatically but will continue to rise. The number of mass shootings was nearly 2.5 times greater over the last ten years—greater than the mass shootings that occurred between 1998 and 2007.
While the governor of Virginia has put the legislation on notice, businesses throughout the nation have put themselves on notice as well, with interest in active shooter training programs for businesses increasing exponentially with each new report of gun violence in the workplace. What’s chilling is OSHA estimates 25% of workplace violence goes unreported. Yet, many businesses believe events like the ones that transpired in Virginia Beach cannot happen to them.
Many businesses not only believe an active shooter event is unlikely, but that they are, in fact, prepared for one. If you happen to be reading this at your desk, or on a break at your job, do you know the evacuation protocol for your business in the event of an active shooter? Evacuation procedures like these are often explained in personnel materials like handbooks and manuals. But the average employee is not regularly engaged on the topic, let alone received comprehensive education & demonstration of these protocols. It is a morbid, serious subject, and it is not uncommon for management or leadership in a business/organization to be uncomfortable with addressing it, and certainly struggle with addressing it comprehensively.
Companies who have decided that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure are investing in contracts with independent investigators to perform risk assessments on their headquarters and locations of business. These investigators consider factors such as the total volume of personnel, layout of the worksite, and security protocol to determine what is needed to keep the employees safe and secure.
These horrific crimes are also placing a heavy financial burden on businesses. Lower & Associates estimates businesses across the United States will lose more than $55 million in employee wages each year due to violence in the workplace. They experience direct losses in the form of medical expenses, workers’ compensation, litigation fees, and indirect losses such as breakdown in operations due to arrested productivity, record-low morale, and public relation nightmares. Not to mention the fact that a business’s preparedness for an active shooter event is literally a matter of life and death.