‘Can’t do’ culture afflicts one in five

in five people currently work in a ‘can’t do’ culture, according to new

site Reed.co.uk asked over 5,000 workers whether they would categorise their
current and former workplaces as ‘can’t do’ or ‘can do’ cultures.

than half said they have experienced a ‘can’t do’ culture at some point in
their working lives, while 19 per cent are currently experiencing this .

worst aspect of ‘can’t do’ cultures is that "action and initiative is
punished rather than welcomed", according to the study. Other typical
characteristics include managers and colleagues who are jealous and threatened
rather than supportive of others’ success; promotion being given to people who
say the right things rather than to those who are most effective; and ‘not
making waves’ being regarded as more important than doing the right thing.

is most affected, with a ‘can’t do’ culture blighting nearly one in three. The
City of London
is least affected, with only one in 10 experiencing the problem.

sector is immune to ‘can’t do’ cultures, with 17 per cent affected in even the
least-blighted finance sector.  Worst,
however, is the public sector (where 26 per cent are affected), with
manufacturing and distribution (both 24 per cent) close behind.  

Warnes, manager of
Reed.co.uk, said: "’Can’t do’ cultures are not only miserable places to work, they are also profoundly
unproductive and threaten UK’s
economic productivity within the competitive global marketplace.

Turnaround tactics

top three methods advocated to change a "can’t do" to a "can
do" culture all involve organisational or managerial input.

order of importance, as selected by those surveyed, they are:

creating overt organisational support and help with new ideas

developing direct communication routes to top managers

ensuring top management leads by example.

By Quentin Reade

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