The main conflict situations in many organizations revolve around multiple, differing narratives about the value of work, the importance of compensation, the legitimacy of management and the possibility of leadership. But, outside of the organizations, many of the root causes of these conflicts used to never be seen by external candidates.
Many things get mixed in that brew of narratives, which leads to many organizations evolving to the point of the highest level of competency for individual performers, and then evolving no higher. But the strange thing is that, even in organizations where the narrative is broken, there is still hiring going on of external candidates for internal positions. This is because, the narrative that an external candidate tells themselves about the advertised role for which they are applying, doesn’t always match up with the internal organizational reality. But it takes a while for that mismatch to be discovered.
And this space—the space between getting hired and finding the mismatch—could take months, years or even decades to cross. Meanwhile, the organization benefits from the employees’ labor, time, talent and expertise, in exchange for a paycheck and providing a brief sense of security.
However, with more access to more information by more people about what is actually going on inside of an organization –it’s internal politics, it’s lack of leadership opportunities, it’s conflicting messages and methods of accomplishing goals and tasks—the chances of a candidate staying, or even initially applying for a position, grow narrower and narrower.
And this is the bind that many organizations find themselves in today. Even with economic uncertainty, political strife, cultural changes, and everything else, many individuals are finally waking up to the idea that they have options, they have choices, and they don’t have to settle for what’s available. Organizations have to realize that the quarterly numbers to the shareholders and great media coverage won’t continue to translate to hiring new productive employees and lowered internal conflict.
Particularly if the numbers continue to mismatch to lived reality, leaking out through media channels, in-person conversations, and passed on observations.
Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org