The road to the top is not easy, it is bumpy and dirty. Along the way, we’ll meet and work with interesting personalities. Situations will also bring us to a crossroad, a place where we’ll choose a path based on either the pattern we observed or the values that matter to us. While we have control over the choices we make, we don’t have control over the consequences. The consequences of our actions are determined by natural and spiritual laws that are in place since time immemorial.
The corporate environment is a playing field where employees work to earn and make a name for themselves. It is also the arena where companies compete or collaborate to stay in business. With the changing trends brought by social media and globalization, business strategies change to stay relevant. Employees, likewise, must adapt to these changes for continuity of employment, because job security is not guaranteed.
The corporate environment is also a place for employees to excel to grow and earn more. This is not necessarily bad, but it affects employee behavior. Per Francis J. Kong,
“corporate culture can make an employee behavior better or worse “
In fact a friend described the culture in his company as “jungle”. Men, they will eat you alive, he said. It is a place where only the strongest thrives, a place where you have to constantly watch your back because you’re not sure who’s on your side and who’s not. He further said “you have to learn how to paddle your own canoe and don’t expect help from your peers. If you can not survive on your own, you will never make it.”
The danger of being exposed to such culture is you will conform eventually. Some opted to flee but more often than not, employees stay for economic reasons.
In one of the seminars I handled, someone asked, is there a proactive way to deal with this quasi barbaric company culture?
Norman Vincent Peale once said
“change your thoughts and you change the world”
Thoughts are mindsets that serve as mental map. And mental maps are like operating systems that influence (if not outright control) employee behavior.
The Mental Map Determines Employee Behavior
The Default Mental Map: Compete and Survive
Because employees perceived a greedy or unfair environment, employee responds with aggression
- Blue colar employees opting to organize a labor union to compel management to have a collective bargaining agreement.
- Professionals, however, have taken an individual competitive approach to get a better job or better compensation package. While some will compete ethically, others will do anything just to get what they want.
- A culture that is immersed to this mindset is a breeding ground for negative office politics and workplace bullying.
In this mental map, the goal is to move up of the money chain and treat those on top as transient dwellers that can be replaced anytime. The race to the top don’t have a concrete rule, sometimes time-honored rules are respected. But unconventional means are also used like charm, sex, deception and even violence just to reach their goal.
The Alternative Mental Map: Application of Spiritual Intelligence in the Workplace
Is there a force that can off-set the free for all employee behavior? Is there an alternative mental map?
A belief that a more powerful force is on top of everyone, like God, can bring a sense of order and integrity in the workplace. A fair God– who rewards or reprimands a person according to what he does, can change a mental map and employee behavior.
- Managers will be less arrogant and will be accountable for both his motivation and actions.
- On the other hand, non managerial employees will not take matters on their own hands, opting to take a proactive and value adding stance.
This mental map, however, can’t be legislated, it’s a personal choice. When an employee voluntarily embraced this mental map, his attitude change. And when attitude changes, the behavior follows. Legislation can only force an action but not attitude.
“A dad said to his daughter, baby sit down, the daughter replied, I don’t like. The dad got mad and said sit down! No I won’t! The daughter replied. So dad forced her to sit down but the daughter said I may be sitting down but in my heart I am still standing”.
This mental map uses Spiritual Intelligence as intervention to “hack” the worldview, thus enhancing employee behavior. A changed behavior enhances the corporate environment too, aligning organizational culture to that of the natural and spiritual laws.
As a manager, do I need to check the mental maps of my group?
By recognizing the prevailing mental maps, we can find the root causes or triggers that explains the culture of the company or department. These are the reasons why employee behaves in certain ways.
And if it’s within our powers to do the “hacking”, we can enhance the culture.
If that task is beyond our pay-scale, at least with our own behavior, we can influence employees to try a different mental map. There is a higher force, after all, than the powers would be in the workplace.