(Time to read this Blog article is about 90 seconds)
A culture of ‘us and them’ is corrosive in any business. Healthy, friendly and respectful competition between team members and departments can be an energizer and motivator …but ‘us and them’ is a killer. I see it in many businesses that I work with and management needs to deal with it before it tears the business apart. But, instead, management ignores the situation or, even worse, fans the flames of ‘us and them’.
I recently interviewed a gentleman who had been a very successful Parts Manager at a big car dealership. He quit that job because of ‘us and them’. The sales team at the dealership was praised, rewarded and pampered by management while both the Parts and Service Departments, who actually generated more profit for the business, were treated like 2nd class citizens…and it hurt.
‘Us and them’ can be between departments, divisions or functions within the business. The sales team may put down the production department by saying, “If we didn’t make the sales, you’d have nothing to produce!” And production folks may razz the sales team by replying, “If we didn’t produce the product, you’d have nothing to sell!” The truth is we’re all in the same boat and we should all row in the same direction…together.
‘Us and them’ can also be between different ethnic groups within the business, or between folks who are different for some other reason. This is a real killer and must not be tolerated. Understanding, tolerance, respect and kindness must (and can) prevail.
Is an attitude of ‘us and them’ hurting any part of your business? If so, who will fix that by creating a culture that honours everyone’s contribution to your growth and success?
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