How to Avoid an Us versus Them Culture

Have you ever been in a situation at work where it seemed like it was Us versus Them? When you find this situation it often comes in the form of field staff vs. office staff.

The problem comes from the top. This happens because the CEO lets it happen. Or, in a public agency, the Director or CEO equivalent. Al Weiss used to say there would not be any silos at Disney World. And if there were, someone would not be in their silo anymore because he would remove them. It is the responsibility of the leader to create a culture where everyone works together, appreciates each other, and realizes everyone has a hard job.

If an organization has let Us vs. Them creep into a culture, one way to address the situation is to have the office staff work in operations. Give people the exposure and experience to understand what happens in other jobs. Once you understand the work other people are doing you will begin to appreciate them more.

When your people begin not working together the focus shifts away from the customer. Everyone needs to work towards the same purpose.

Every day this situation continues it chips away at the culture of your organization. There is a lot at stake. Great people will leave the organization to work at a place with a better culture. Over time you are left with average.

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