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Corporate Culture

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


My company is filled with people who yell and scream. If you donít yell, you are seen as weak or uncertain about what you are saying. I donít like working this way, and I am trying to stay calm and get people to stop yelling. I have been getting headaches almost every day, and I wonder if itís worth it. What do you think?
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I love my new job, but my executive director and our board are mired by indecision. I often struggle with getting clear direction despite pushing for answers. I have heard this is the way our non-profit has always operated, since our executive director has held this position for 30 years. He is a wonderful man, but he stalls and often ends up making last minute hasty choices. How can I have an impact on this grossly inefficient process?
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I have been with this company for a couple of weeks, and most of the discussions include acronyms that are specific to the company but are a mystery to me. I donít like to interrupt a conversation ten times to understand what is being said, but if I donít, I have no idea what to do. How do I get through this?
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I recently started a new position, and the division head is a jerk. I have already seen two employees quit because of her, and I was told that morale is low and turnover is high because of her. I was also told she produces outstanding results, and that is why the company keeps her. Some employees have even adopted her style. This week I experienced her overly demanding style, and I donít think I can last here. What do you suggest?
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Management in this company is always saying they want to hear the employees' ideas. I was at a meeting with several top managers and made a suggestion. My manager instantly said it was a ridiculous idea and not to waste the group's time with these types of comments. None of the other managers seemed bothered by my comments. I felt humiliated and am unsure about what to do next.
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I am 52, a senior in college, and will be looking for a career shortly. My degree in Communication is general, but I have a background in other areas. Having experienced the corporate culture for a few years, I found it terribly disturbing because of my values. Do you have any advice on how to choose a career?
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I just joined this company and my orientation was a brief welcome from my manager, a few words of advice from one of the other employees, and filling out some paperwork. Are orientations a thing of the past, or is this company out of line?
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When one of the people in my department made a huge mistake on a project, I screamed at him. He went to my boss and I was formally reprimanded. The problem is that when I make a mistake, my boss yells his head off at me, and he's not the only one around here who yells. Does this sound fair and what should I do?
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I've been with this company for about a year, and I enjoy most of the work. My problem is that the people I work with talk about work and nothing else. Some humor or casual conversation would be nice, but it doesn't happen. This place is no fun, and I am wondering if that is enough reason to leave.
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This used to be a wonderful company until the new owners took over. Their management style is harsh, controlling, and cheap. Many of my co-workers have bailed out, and I am thinking of leaving too. But, I have invested many years here and it is hard for me to think about going to a new company. Is there a way to demonstrate to the new owners that they are destroying the business?
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Our company backs its managers 100%, whether they are right or wrong. There are no checks and balances to see if a department needs attention by someone in senior management. What can an employee do about this?
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I am not in marketing, but I came up with an idea that could help market our company's products. When I mentioned it at the end of a department meeting, my manager said I should worry about my own work and stay out of the business of other departments. How do you deal with this type of management style?
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I am fairly new here, and my job is okay, but people here seem to take pleasure when others fail. They are always looking for ways to make themselves look better in the eyes of management, and make others look worse. I am very uncomfortable with all of this. What's the best thing to do?
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My manager has a habit of dropping into my office late in the day and giving me work that needs immediate attention. Iím sure some of this work can be given to me earlier, but he rarely does this. I cannot say ďno,Ē but what can I say?
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I plan to promote one of my employees to a new position in my department. I have one individual who has been here for four years, and she expects the promotion. I have another employee who has been here for one year but is more qualified and does better work. The longer-term employee will be very upset if she does not get the promotion, and she can create many problems throughout the department. Who do you suggest I promote?
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My manager has a troublesome habit of dropping into my office late in the day and giving me work that needs immediate attention. Iím sure some of this work can be given to me earlier, but he rarely does this. I cannot say ďno,Ē but what can I say?
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I just passed my third year of employment with this company, and no one in management said anything to me about it. A few words of appreciation would have been nice, but when I mentioned this to my manager, he said the company gives out enough recognition as it is. He then offered unenthusiastic congratulations. Arenít these anniversaries worth recognizing more formally?
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I was surprised to find that my manager added a new classification to my annual evaluation and then gave me a low rating in it. The new classification is based on how environmentally responsible I have been. As a credit analyst, I am not sure what I can do in this area. Although I think this is an important issue, I do not like what happened here. What do you think?
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Our company has a vague dress code. It has no listing of inappropriate apparel, but only a statement that attire is supposed to be casual yet appropriate for business. I have been told twice that my clothing is not appropriate, but I thought it was okay. If there are certain items that the company does not want the employees to wear, why not spell them out in the dress code policy?
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I recently joined this company, and there are acronyms for everything. I am familiar with standard acronyms in my field, but this company has many that were invented here. I do not like to keep asking what something means, but if I say nothing, Iím lost. What can you suggest?
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At a recent meeting, management used some words that I thought were questionable as they might have a negative impact on staff members. Words and phrases such as "gives a reason for people to snitch on others", "I hope future meetings won't result in violent arguments", and "one person complained and HE doesn't think it's fair" lead me to think that such language will make staff members feel intimidated from raising issues in fear of being called a "snitch" or that dissension amongst staff may rise now that the idea that there is a "snitch" has been implied. Also, it may create a sense of fear that violence is a potential issue at work between employees and that people that have raised concerns in private are now being identified openly by pointing out key characteristics. Is there an issue to be had with the type of vocabulary management is using?
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