The Failure of “Good-Enough” Cultures in the Workplace
- Written by Kyle Kalloo
Leaders are bombarded daily with choices; a choice to do right or wrong; a choice to do nothing; a choice to do the right thing or to do the barest minimum required to get the job done.
Note: This article contains 1067 words and 1 image, with an estimated read time of 4 minutes.
Unfortunately, people have become comfortable with working in cultures where mediocrity and low expectations are the norm. Some leaders have learned to tolerate bad things happening in the workplace because to them “it’s has always been that way.” They have adopted a hopeless and disinterested attitude and operate with mediocrity as the standard. Sometimes the leader takes the path of least resistance, with the hopes of holding on to their position and employment longer.
In time of mistakes, there’s no thorough investigation on the part of leaders to find out how to change processes to prevent further recurrences. The concept of “good enough” is the enemy of great. When people believe that whatever they do is enough, excellence will be far-fetched. Good is never truly good enough. Hanging on to the status quo is not sustainable, and more importantly it creates enormous waste and leaves a trail of missed opportunities.
The culture of “good enough” has become so deeply ingrained in our mindset that we fail to see the deep-seated problems it causes. It makes it difficult to optimize opportunities for excellence because it forces us to believe that nothing else can be done. It is important to realize that the core of our troubles is the “good enough” culture. We have taken the easy road to what we know is right. We have adopted the easy, expedient way as opposed to the moral high ground. And we have accepted that our employees no longer deserve advocacy and support. The notion we can settle for “good enough” really isn’t good enough!
Striving for Excellence
When a leader is complacent and satisfied with the current state of the organization, they stop moving people forward. Most times when businesses fail it’s usually because the leader has slowly allowed mediocrity to creep in. When mediocrity is the standard, your people are lulled into complacency with a false sense of security. No one is ready to tackle the challenges effectively and the decline gradually continues. It’s very easy for leaders to feel competent about what they are doing now rather than feeling inept about doing something else that is right and effective. People often fail to move because they can’t see clearly where they need to go, or fail to realize what value the new thing will add to them.
To create the right shift, it is important that leaders make the destination clear, provide the right resources and ensure the rewards are targeted. When employees feel that their organization and leaders have a purpose, they give their best and make a difference. These factors spark a passion within, creating the structural chariot that drives the organization from one of mediocrity to excellence. When this is done right, the organization doesn’t need to create copious amounts of policies and procedures that require enforcement. For a leader to be truly successful, the culture of low expectations must be eliminated. If these barriers are not addressed, the culture of “good enough” will continue and become more entrenched within the organization. Leaders are not doing their employees any favours by keeping the expectations low.
The leader cannot be tricked into thinking “we’ve always done it this way” but instead a good leader must offset that “good enough” mindset with a drive and passion for excellent outcomes. If a leader is not an exemplar of change, it will be impossible to change the culture. The leader’s challenge is to help everyone see the correlation between daily tasks and the opportunity to do significant work for someone else. Creating a culture of unity within the organization will help the employees to feel a sense of long-term commitment with the organization which allows them to make a connection with their personal values.
When there’s a sense of commitment to the mission of the organization the culture of “good enough’ cannot exist. Leaders are charged with helping people to come to the realization that quality is everyone’s business. Striving for excellence produces long lasting positive effects on the entire organization and it’s sustainable. When everyone in the organization is committed to giving their best, they adopt a new mindset toward everything around them. This mindset produces significant change in the way individuals think and behave leading to excellence in customer service.
People who value excellence are high achievers, they are always looking for the best ways to do everything; not the easiest solution.These individuals are always striving for the best solution, become better problem solvers, looking for ways to improve and perfect everything they do daily. An effective leader cares about excellence. A leader is considerate of others, she builds a team that communicates effectively and demonstrates the importance of relationships to success. Such levels of responsibility raises the level of accountability within your employees and helps them to hold each other to a standard of excellence.
The Bottom Line
Effective leaders foster a team spirit that helps them fight challenges that causes disengagement. Leaders must have clear goals and direction and ensure everyone is on board. Leaders should be deliberate when motivating employees to constantly deliver high quality results. Leaders need to set expectations, hold themselves accountable and keep track of everyone’s progress.
Everyone in the organization must fully embrace the company’s mission and act as strong advocate of their organization. When you know your culture’s values you will be able to align it to the mission and vision of the organization. Leaders have choices, choosing to be deliberate with creating a culture of excellence is within their reach.
About the author: Kyle Kalloo is the Chief Executive Officer, Business Coach with Change My Life Coaching and Strategic Leader. Through his management training and experience with McDonalds, Famous Players (Paramount) and WestJet, and all of the ongoing learning and development he’s completed, Kyle has refined and perfected skills and processes and is eager to share how to execute them efficiently to help individuals and companies achieve even more of their dreams. 83% of Kyle’s business comes from referrals. https://www.changemylifecoaching.ca and https://strategicleader.ca