15 Bad Business Practices That Are Transparent

by Jay Deragon on 11/12/2012

Those who have power use the power for self preservation. Self preservation can promote misrepresentation of fact from those who hide their transgression from the accountability of others.

The majority of employees do not trust management’s representations of “facts”. Many employee’s are fully aware of misrepresentations management makes about others but do not dare speak up for fear of retribution. These attitudes and represented behavior is indicative of bad business practices that have creep into business large and small over time.

There is both benefits detriments to the aspects of “transparent business.” In many respects, anybody with a keyboard and an attitude can turn themselves into “the judge and jury.” At the same time the emergence of transparency fueled by social media is a force that organizations need to be prepared to deal with. If you think good news spreads fast bad news, accurate or not, spreads many times faster.

In the world of open and transparent communications the organizations culture, maturity of management and the willingness to face the truth rather than misrepresent it defines success. These are not functions or features of marketing or PR rather these are fundamentals of leadership.

It would be simpler to make it a practice to do the rights things and do them right rather than do the wrong things and represent them as being right.

The following list of bad business practices represents some of the foolsh thinking by companies across all industries.

  1. “Let’s cut back on customer service levels to save money”
  2. “Human beings can be replaced with machines to answer our phones”
  3. “We have to pay our employees less because payroll is the single biggest expense line we have”
  4.  “We’ve been very successful, so let’s grow the company more quickly”
  5. “We’ll get better results if we hire a superstar manager to run this place”
  6.  “Our company is so cool we will always have a large pool of talent available”
  7. “There’s no place for family in the workplace”
  8. “Let’s be honest: Women are always going to want to have babies, so it’s dangerous to promote them too far up the ladder”
  9.  “We are an equal opportunity employer — it just looks like we’re not”
  10.  “We promoted Charley because he got great results in his last job”
  11.  “When things get rough, it’s smart to take our time to make prudent business decisions”
  12. “The CEO purposely tells people he is proud of being trustworthy while consistently breaking commitments to employees”
  13. “They assume nobody will know about their transgressions”
  14. “Instead of confessing errors they try and cover up”
  15. “They always find others to blame while never considering themselves as making poor decisions”

{ 1 comment }

Vegard Vevstad November 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

I’ll give you another one: “We have a formal structure for employee participation in decision-making.” Nice surface dressing.
Or how about this one: “We encourage employees to spend time with their families; it is so important: but don’t expect promotions if you do.”
Both actual examples.

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