A parliamentary inquiry in New South Wales (Australia) into the alleged toxic culture of the NSW Work Cover health & safety regulator was damming. The report by PWC found among other things, a failure of management and leadership:
“the leadership team has historically not demonstrated leadership capability and action concerning bullying and harassment”.
The PWC report referred to a worrying observation:
- 40% of people at the regulator indicated that they had been bullied and/or harassed in the workplace and 52% of those reported the source of the behaviour was a manager or supervisor.
PWC was of the view that a ‘long-term commitment’ and ‘concerted focus’ on organisational culture was required along with a ‘spirit of cooperation’ between agency management, employees and their unions. I agree with them and collaboration is vital. Values based leadership is a must for 21st Century workplaces to be ‘fit for people’. People can do their best work when they feel safe, engaged and valued.
When I read the PWC report I was saddened, and I asked myself what do organisations need from leaders in the 21st Century to prevent damage to people and reputation. How do we create organisations that are future focused and fit for people to work in ?
I remembered listening to a Gary Hamel presentation where he talked about creating workplaces that are ‘fit for humans. It is worth re-visiting what Gary Hamel had to say.