Nudge 4: Commissioner Hayne’s report
This isn’t a beat up on the banks, I promise. Because. in a way, we’re all to blame for their behaviour. As chief of the defence, David Hurley said: “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” We expect a pretty low standard from the big four. Hayne’s report was damning, but its contents were unsurprising to most Australians.
So what can we learn? How did it happen and more importantly, how might we prevent a recurrence?
Executives set the tone for culture. For example, what they choose to incentivise points to what they value.
We can predict the outcome of threatening a downsize if customer acquisitions drop, compared to a bonus for feedback on client satisfaction.
Culture also is a shared responsibility. The more people are doing the ‘wrong’ thing, the more right it looks, and the more difficult it can be to point out the behaviour. There’s the case of being ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ – a small slip up would label you a hypocrite for calling out others.
Psychological safety also plays a part here. If an organisation is punitive toward employees for speaking up, or speaking truth to power, their staff won’t do it. The rot will start from the inside and before you know it, you’re charging dead people fees, or worse.
What is the one thing people aren’t talking about at work? Get it in the open.
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