Dysfunction occurs when an organisation operates at less than its optimum effectiveness and efficiency.

There are many instances of dysfunction. For example, organisations have thousands of exchanges between departments and customers and many of these are confusing and redundant.

Another instance is when people are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. They find it easier to push the blame to someone else.

Doing so keeps people isolated from each other and inhibits personal and professional growth. Dysfunction will occur in the most obvious form in an organisation filled with people who cannot or will not take responsibility.

Negative effects

A company's dysfunction will affect its customers over time. Customers who are frequently affected by your inefficiency will take their business elsewhere.

And no matter what your policies, sales tactics or marketing ploys, it will be extremely difficult to get them to do business with you again once you lose them.

Make changes

There are many policies you could put into practice to address these problems. Here are six critical actions you can work on.

1. Develop a pride-based culture

The opposite of a pride-based management is a shame-based one.

Practitioners of the style usually practise micro-management and top-down management, and there is a lack of integrity, respect and trust among employees.

They send out the message that their employees are not doing a good enough job. They also do not take responsibility for the circumstances, culture or lack of employee performance.

On the other hand, pride-based management sends a clear and consistent message to employees that they are respected and trusted.

2. Encourage responsibility

Accountability management is all about inspection, quotas, incentives, rules, policies, procedures and a lack of personal creativity.

Employees are expected to perform according to stringent standards and are punished either economically or psychologically, if they fail to measure up.

Responsibility management drives decision-making, problem-solving, creative solutions and performance deep into the organisation.

3. Eliminate corporate disconnect

Corporate disconnect is evident when there are poor top-down and bottom-up communication, a lack of trust and no clarity of roles and responsibilities.

It is the most likely cause of the breakdowns in expectations or performance standards. It is essential for both to be congruous to eliminate any confusion and corporate disconnect.

4. Remember you are in the people business

Many managers, executives and leaders believe that people are just a small part of the total business equation.

Always remember that at the end of every decision, action, expectation, policy, rule or behaviour is a person. Business is ultimately about people serving people.

5. Embrace honesty

Do not surround yourself only with people who validate your views. This does not propel change.

Failing to seek out dissent and opposing views will not get you anywhere. Do not perceive disagreement as a sign of disloyalty.

6. Leave your ego out

Remember, it is not about who is right or wrong in the organisation but what is best for its long-term health, markets and customers.