How Executives And Employees Differ In Vision And Strategy

by Aston Waldman on June 26, 2012

Comparing the perspectives of individuals from different peer groups or classes is always interesting. Good vs. Evil. Rich vs. Poor. Male vs. Female. And then we have Manager/Executive vs. Employee. Do you ever wonder what your boss or your employee see as important? It’s worthwhile to stop and see where the differences lie.

Deloitte LLP performed a study about how Execs and Employees view their Company’s core beliefs and culture.

The least interesting components are where the Execs and Employees are aligned. These included such general obvious beliefs such as: i) a distinct workplace culture is important to business success and ii) having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success. No kidding, these are both kinda obvious.

Here is where it gets a little less obvious. I’ll let you be the judge of who is right and wrong.

Execs think business strategy is far more important to the Company’s success than employees do. Although to a lesser degree, Execs think the Company’s culture is more important to the Company’s success than employees. On the one hand, one could interpret this as saying that Execs are so concerned with the “big picture” that they lose sight of the day to day challenges that each employee faces. Or you could interpret it that the scope of responsibilities for an employee is less than that of an Exec so the big picture matters more.

Execs thought social media was very important to reinforcing a positive work place culture. Employees thought social media was practically worthless. In my opinion, communicating via social media is so easy that it loses it’s meaning. How hard is it to send a “tweet”? Is it really going to make you work harder or stay late if your boss tweets #workhard @you? Not really…..

Here’s an interesting one. Execs thought how much employees are paid impacts the culture of the company. Employees disagreed.  Does how much is deposited into your bank account affect how you treat your fellow co-workers or impact your values and work place beliefs? I find it hard to believe that money could influence those factors. It sounds like Execs believe that they can throw money at a problem and make it go away.

Studies are always open to interpretation and easily manipulated so take them with a pinch of salt!

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2 comments

Interesting article. In addition to the widening pay gap between “Execs” and workers is this new age social media which divides . I would suggest that an Exec no longer needs to please, manage or understand his/her workers . No longer do they have to. The new age tyrant can merely show via the net what an efficient and productive employee they are. Look what I did , they tell those higher up the chain as they point to the Google page which claims some achievement. It is all there in black and white( and some is even a bit true!), though the real truth can not be acknowledged at all. Take a bad manager at a major bank… Go to your college spend a day with a student , feed him cookies and milk , have him attend a few well chosen meetings where you show your superior position and then send him on his way to write something to get posted for all to see. Meanwhile ,employees grunt and groan over their misdeeds. Social media is then used to show what an exceptional person they are…..you decide. in the old days Execs cared about their people.

by Michael Fers on June 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm. Reply #

Employees don’t think company culture is important for the same reason fish don’t notice water. Try changing it to something else and they will notice. After a lot of mergers the newly integrated employees are suddenly very aware of culture and its importance. Maybe in the new company making your personal numbers is more important than teamwork. They notice stuff like that quickly.

Employees don’t think company strategy is important partly because they don’t know what the strategy is and what role they should be playing in it. This is a common failure of management. I have seen companies where every employee knows the basics of the company strategy and in those the strategy guides everyone’s daily decisions. So much so that the companies actually seem to achieve their strategies.

In one company I worked in, employees were hoping there was a strategy that would provide “light at the end of the tunnel” but they don’t see it and were disheartened.

And, yes, social media is a joke unless the CEO actually responds to employee postings.

by Jim George on June 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm. Reply #

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