Why Your Team Doesn't Give a... Doesn't Care
If you’re attracted by this title, you probably know everything you need to know about the problem in question. Despite our best intentions, sometimes the people we’re supposed to be inspiring to greater efforts simply don’t respond. Or maybe they almost never respond. They just don’t care.
It would be nice to assume it’s entirely their fault. But we simply don’t have that luxury, do we? If you’re a boss, you’re responsible. And if your employees don’t give a crap, rather than assume it’s because they’re bad employees, you’d do well to accept it’s probably because they’re probably working in a soul crushing culture in which apathy may be the most intelligent response. Here’s why:
- They have no emotional equity in their job or the company. Money’s important, sure, but it’s not everything. Simply paying your employees—even if the pay is good—won’t buy their full interest. But when you share your vision and values in a full way, when you mentor employees through challenges and pay attention to them, you’ll see the light start to turn on. That’s when people become fully engaged.
- You’ve raised a family of whiners. Complaining is contagious and you’ll find it usually starts at the top. People alternately feel and act either like victims, or the persecuted (because victims need someone to blame for their victimization), or rescuers (coming to the aid of the persecuted). Everyone plays their role in a toxic drama that ensures everyone focuses on anything but the company’s true mission. The only way to stop it is to stop it from the top down. Training can help. But commitment to positive courses of action is the necessary first step.
- No one can find his career path. There are only two ways to move in any company: down a career path or out the door. If you don’t give each employee a good idea of where his career path is going and how to get there, you can be pretty sure he’ll be wandering toward the exit. If you don’t care that a particular employee is headed that way, you’d do well to hurry up the process and let him go.
Recognize any of the symptoms? Maybe it’s time to do something.