Passive-aggressiveness is a warning sign your employer isn’t transparent enough.
We’ve all played the game of telephone at work: tell a colleague something and a few teammates later the story is blown completely out of proportion.
In short order, an internal political battle is brewing — all built on speculation.
It’s easy to happen when a company isn’t transparent in the way it makes decisions.
If you are wondering if you work at a company that values transparency the way you do, one signal to look for is the degree of passive-aggressiveness you experience from your fellow teammates.
We all know what passive-aggressive behavior looks like: When people do the opposite of what they say they are going to do, often to undermine colleagues.
Transparency of decision-making by leaders and managers is a critical behavior, because an absence of information emboldens passive-aggressiveness; it allows people to agree in public but disagree in private.
The reason why the TV show Survivor works as a dramatic presentation is the deliberate effort by the producers to limit information based on the made-for-TV strategy that the less information the participants have about their future, the more likely they are to work against each other for their own benefit.
Fostering in-fighting may be great entertainment, but it is a sure sign you work at a company that isn’t transparent — and no doubt a workplace where you will have to “work the system” to get ahead, even if you’re achieving great results individually.
Here at the Transparency Imperative, it’s our goal to make it easy to see how transparent your current or future employer is.
We rate companies on a scale of 0-100 – just like getting a good or bad grade in school.
Each score is also color-coded to help you quickly see the quality of the grade your employer received – red, yellow or green.
We break down our company transparency scores into Six Drivers of Transparency.
One of those drivers is Culture of Accountability.
A good way to predict the likelihood of passive-aggressive behavior is to look at your company’s Culture of Accountability score from our global database.
Accountability speaks to the degree leaders and managers take responsibility for their decisions, actions and behaviors.
In other words, leaders and managers in companies with a green Culture of Accountability score “do what they say they are going to do.” Because transparency behaviors are modeled at the top of the company with green scores, you’re almost certain to find them permeated throughout the culture.
A score that is red or yellow indicates the need to improve accountability. A red score suggests a workplace where people do not do what they say they are doing to do. It’s in these workplaces where passive-aggressive behaviors are likely part of the culture and employee experience.
Any company that follows the rules of Survivor is simply encouraging unproductive, time-wasting behaviors that in many ways de-value those employees executing at the top or their games.
We created The Transparency Imperative to hold companies, leaders and managers accountable for better engagement with their teams using data.
In the event you work at a company with a yellow or red score for Culture of Accountability, we hope our data can help shape your company to do better — but we hope it doesn’t shape you.
Your full potential is a function of working at a company that values transparency of decision-making — where your results will attract the rewards and recognition they deserve.