We are living in a superficial society where most are more concerned with how they are perceived externally than what is going on internally. This is very evident on social media; we have all observed postings that reflect anything but the reality of the situation. It appears that the general consensus is that it is okay for everything in house to be in disarray once this knowledge is kept from the public. I presume this gives new meaning to the adage, ‘don’t air your dirty laundry in public’. Be that as it may, this facade that is often so accurately portrayed has become so common place, that it is the accepted status quo for many.
What is most interesting is the extent to which our corporations have personified this human behaviour. It can be seen that corporations are more concerned about the image that is projected in the society, than their reality. Consequently, some corporate leaders still believe that image is everything. This translates into ensuring that John Public perceives the corporation to be a socially responsible employer of choice, who has managed to maintain a balance between the satisfactions of their employees and maintaining their bottom line.
Although, the fact of the matter is, usually this is not the case.
Someone said if you want to know about the parents ask the children, since they are often front and centre of the good, bad and ugly in the home. The same applies to the employees. It can be argued, that since the employees are the most valuable resource of an organisation and the ones who are present in the good, bad and ugly of the daily operations, it is their opinions, thoughts and feelings about the organisation that should really matter.
Our corporations must recognise that their employees are also members of the public and when employees are appreciated and treated with respect, the inside easily reflects on the outside. It takes more effort to put on a show to keep up appearances than to do what is right. Mr Manager, it is time to do some internal cleaning and work on the heart of your business. The crux of the matter is, you can fool some people some of the time but you cannot fool everyone all of the time, so image is definitely NOT everything.
Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at refiningleadersins[email protected]