Don’t lose touch with your workers (Editor’s notes)

Aloof and arrogant executives can hurt an organization
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/30/2009

Arrogance is a quality often valued in CEOs and top executives. The top dog, after all, needs a bit of swagger because she is responsible for the ultimate success or failure of a company.

But that attitude needs to be checked at the door when it comes to dealing with employees. That killer instinct may be good in the marketplace, in crushing the competition and winning new business, but it doesn’t translate well on the shop floor. And if executives lose touch with what everyone agrees is a company’s most valuable asset — its people — then bad things are bound to happen.

Just ask General Motors. When the economy tanked last year, GM ran out of gas pretty quickly. The Canadian and United States governments rode to its aide, pumping billions of dollars into the automaker and keeping it afloat. At the beginning, it looked like GM was just a victim of the poor economy. And while that certainly played a major part in its troubles, there was more to the story.