Poilitics, Half-truths and the Workplace

Every night and every day between now and November we will be bombarded with political ads from one source or another regarding the upcoming presidential race. Despite non-aligned groups such as Politico and Fact-Finder stating that the premise is wrong, the campaigns continue to run ads with false data. One campaign pollster even openly stated that in releasing campaign ads we don’t care if our facts are wrong. There is a campaign poster running currently which shows grumpy coal miners with the caption that we were told to show up for a candidate appearance with out pay or risk being fired. That is not the message that appeared in the main stream media. 

This make me turn to our business world and ask the question what do we do with the facts? When some one makes a complaint against your organization is the tendency to truly investigate the issues or do we look to what makes the organization look good? Do we tell an employee that his job is safe and then lay him or her off three days later?

We constantly as organizations claim our organizational culture requires us to be the employer of choice and that we have 100% employee engagement. Then we turn around and we are less than honest with all parties. We tell the world how great we are and then we understate the job requirements. I have a friend who took a job with the understanding that it was minimal travel and he is now traveling 90% of the time. We tell our employees that we want full engagement but we fail to show the employee that they are a valued part of the organization.

The problem is that these half-truths will inevitably come back to haunt your organization. If you stretch the truth someone is surely at some point going to take you task over it. I am not a lawyer  but from my recruiting days I have heard of candidates who successfully took legal action over half truths.

As a human resource strategist, here is my advice to your organization. Determine what your message is and make sure that message is based on creditable, verifiable facts. Facts which are not tainted to meet an arbitrary goal. A Message that treats everyone involved — employees, customers, stakeholders, management- with the respect that they deserve. You want to be included in the list of the Good to Great organizations, then you need to place yourselves above the morass of tainted messages. Half-truths have no place in a quality business environment – not in the past, not in the future and certainly not in the future.

It is not a choice of do or don’t. The survival of your organization depends on it.

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