There are many things that may cause climate change. Omar and Thad were in control. They made it evident to everyone that status mattered. After a while the team realized that it did not matter what they said, Omar and Thad would not listen. This made the employees feel like why bother, so they were extremely quiet. The partners needed to allow the employees to talk about what was bothering them openly. Omar and Thad needed to listen for a change at the woes the team felt. The issues the team were feeling festered and grew causing the climate to get out of hand. In the beginning of a business start-up founders are confronted with an uphill struggle to get their business idea and brand to the markets of interest. Omar and Thad grew rapidly hiring the best people for the jobs. However, Omar and Thad had a climate issue that they needed to confront before it caused complications in the business. Omar and Thad did not realize they have a problem in the beginning, but do they contribute to the climate issues? Why does the climate keep team members quiet? Does status play a role in the climate? What changes need to be made to change the climate?
The climate is one of competition between Omar and Thad and the rest of the team. Omar and Thad call the shots. Every Monday they have a meeting to discuss what went right or wrong with the new projects. In the beginning Omar and Thad encouraged prompt responses “Positive and negative, whereby everyone knew what to improve and what to change.
It was a hustle bustle company that was expanding rapidly. The co-founders were excited about the company that they had built from scratch. As the company grew so did the employee pool. Omar and Thad began making the decisions of “Workspace, new technology, finance, and others related to running the firm were decided unilaterally by the co-founders without input from the team members”. They should have continued asking the team if they had any suggestions about what may work better, or what did work well. After all, the other team members are the ones that are implementing the processes. Not to mention, “Every other week they met to discuss new research innovations and ideas to make the service better”. This is when the climate change began to occur. During this time Omar and Thad had meetings, but no one got a word in. The two partners would argue with each other until they settled the disagreement between them. No one would speak a word during that time. No one had the knowledge or know-how that Omar and Thad had. The team members were not as well-informed on the topics as the co-founders, so the team listened and they were extremely quiet. Yes, the co-founders, Omar and Thad, did contribute to the climate by making all the decisions themselves. The team was no longer asked for their input in the meetings. “The fast-paced environment was only occurring when Omar and Thad were not present”.
If that was not bad enough, at the end of the year everyone had an evaluation and received a bonus. One employee spoke up at the evaluation and things turned “Ugly when she asked questions about her evaluation and disagreed with the conclusion the cofounders reached. Rumor has it, that the longer you were there the bigger your bonus was, also that the employee that spoke her mind seemed to have received a smaller bonus. Omar and Thad had no idea that they just kept contributing to the bad climate.
The team members kept quiet because they did not want to get on the bad side of the two men. Status became a huge part of the climate. The longer you had been at the research company the higher regards Omar and Thad had for you. Omar and Thad thought that you had to have status to know anything. The partners have sent signals that they are in charge because they have status. Of course, that tends to quiet the team members. Eventually the team members begin thinking why bother. If the idea did not come from someone with status what would be the chance of even being heard or listened to. The team members begin dealing with negative behavior.
On the other hand, the team thought that the partners would take it personally or it would come across as disrespectful. After all, the team member that did not agree about her evaluation was branded and received a smaller bonus, so that made everyone afraid of the consequences that could happen. “Once people become afraid to speak their minds, they’ll just keep justifying their silence with explanations like ‘That’s the way our culture is-you don’t disagree with your boss’”.
What can Omar and Thad do to change the climate?
To change the climate, Omar and Thad could make feedback a regular exchange. They could have meetings without an agenda. “When the first brave souls speak up, especially with comments that challenge how things are done, thank them and publicly acknowledge how much you value their input. Then be sure to adopt at least one idea or solve at least one problem that was mentioned, letting everyone know who deserves the credit for bringing it up”.
The advice that could be offered to help in changing the climate would be to get to know your employees. The team needs to feel that they are listened to.
They need to know that they are not just a number on a status list. Steps need to be taken to prove that they are protected, that they are of value to the leaders, and to be able to provide feedback no matter what position they possess in the company. Things need to be discussed openly. If one person begins to talk about what is bothering them, then others will follow, and it will be known that it bothered everyone. “A final option is to intentionally create a critical incident that alters the climate in “one fell swoop.” This is a much riskier strategy, but in some cases, it can be used to good effect”.
In conclusion, anyone can cause climate change. The question is, are you going to let it continue? Being aware of how the employees feel is important. If the climate changes allow the employees to talk about it openly. Understanding what is causing the climate is the key to fixing what has gone wrong. “Everyone likes to know they are in a supportive climate”. A climate they feel protected and appreciated in.