This is my fourth publication of 2017, the first being Equality and Diversity second People Management, Third Leadership and now Organisational Insight. The running theme in my articles have been people and organisational behaviour and the need for a positive relationship.
I have worked in different types of organisations, complexed, dynamic and Agile. What they all have in common is the need for success. success is measured in different ways which is determined by which sector they operate. Private, Public or Voluntary.
Private organisations measure their success by market share and or financial value. Public is about service and managing finance and Charity (3rd sector) like public sector is service and managing finance but also the ability to have a continuous flow of voluntary staff and attracting financial contribution.
Organisations play a significant part in societal growth and development so it is important that organisation behaviour reflects the positive values that make up the wider community. If this is true why are we still hearing stories of organisations restricting the development and growth of those with protected characteristics laid out in the Equality Act 2010. Why are some organisations not being held accountable for wrong doing and poor performance that cause a dramatic effect on the wider community as was the case in 2008 when the banking community became unraveled.
It has been suggested that those in a position to hold organisations to account have an invested interest in keeping these organisations a float. Some have a financial stake in them others feel threaten by the size of an organisation and fear repercussions. An example that highlights lack of accountability is Tesco. Tesco was fined £129m for committing accounting fraud. One would of thought that someone would have been held to account as it is painfully obvious that the financial trail would lead to the perpetrator/s. So why didn’t the law try to pursue this vigorously? Some would argue that because Tesco is such a large company they were allowed get away with this sizeable fraud and I for one agree.
There is also the Barclays Libor scandal. It has recently been reported that the executives of Barclays where as equally complicit as those that were held to account. Why were these individuals allowed to get away with not being held accountable? And finally there is G4S it seems no matter how badly they perform they win Government contracts. Why is that? Is there a secret relationship between G4S and the Government ?the mind boggles.
The Public Disclosure Act 1998 is a piece of legislation that protects ‘whistleblowers’ to inform on organisations who are intentionally putting the public at risk or informing on workplace dangers and unfair practices. Although this Act exists it is not heavily used because of the fear of being sacked or ostracised. There is a stigma attached to ‘whistleblowing’ that makes it difficult for some people to speak out about injustices. There have been cases where people have managed to speak out such as Sports Direct and Uber both have raised awareness about unfair practices.
As we now have two feet fully in 2017 we need to ask ourselves what are we prepared to accept as individuals when it comes to organisational behaviour? Will we challenge those who blatantly ignore employees within the organisation who have no voice and are being discriminated against? Will we champion positive change and help those organisations who have the intention to make the right choices or will we forever go backwards and say there is a lack of fairness when it comes to those with protective characteristics and do nothing? It is time to say doing nothing is not an option.
We all share in the responsibility of holding organisations to account and it is important that we do so to ensure that those organisation who have lost their way or those blatantly trying to act unlawfully or fairly are held to account. Action needs to take place and vocal champions needed to push the initiative forward.
The rallying cry for International Women’s Day was an apt one ‘Be Bold’. We need to think about the legacy we leave for those following in our footsteps. If we continually perpetuate silence and complacency there will be no progress. I would hate to think that years from now articles are still being written about the gender pay gap, lack of BMEs at board level, LGBTI not feeling comfortable being open at work, those with disabilities still having challenges getting a place at the employment table. To succeed we must challenge every aspect of negative behaviour both individual and organisations. It time to stand up and be counted so that change can happen.
I have taken steps to make a difference by writing articles, supporting organisations not only looking to implement change but embed them. I am not the only voice out there many more strong individuals men and women are fighting to enhance positive action. If we have frank discussions with organisations we can then begin to help them understand what is need to make effective change to allow creativity and opportunity to be more common place in all organisations.
About the Author
Dianne Greyson is well known HR specialist with significant organisational experience haven worked for the public and private sector for over 20 years. She has been a speaker at a women’s conference supporting entrepreneurs with dyslexia and made a contribution to Demystifying Diversity a book written to held organisations to understand Diversity. Dianne is also a Board Member for Certitude, a charity that supports mental health and learning disabilities.
Dianne regards herself as a Equality and Diversity Champion that seeks to improve the capabilities of organisations and make them into ‘People Champions’. She believes more effort should be made to reflect society and eradicate divisions and negative behaviours in organisation.
The opinion is that of the Author