We’ve talked about the Iceberg of Ignorance before, both here in 2020 and here in 2021. And we’re going to talk about it again in 2022 because of the recently published Microsoft Work Trend Index.

There’s a lot to unpack in the report, but we want to focus on these critical insights:

  • 54% of middle managers said upper management is out of touch with employee expectations
  • 74% of middle managers say they do not have the influence or resources to make changes

What does this mean for a company’s brand? Everything!

For starters, when over half of middle management believes upper management is out of touch, that’s a real issue. Upper management is in charge of leading the organization, setting the strategy and vision for the future. Without understanding their employee’s needs and desires, they’re building the future on an unstable foundation. Their people aren’t on board with the vision because they don’t feel respected and valued, so they won’t be loyal to the organization. And if they’re not loyal, they’re not focused on delivering on the brand promises of the company. In fact they’re probably focused on finding another job, which means distractions and mistakes.

These companies will continue to see declining employee morale and dissatisfaction – resulting in increased turnover and a loss of employees.

Even more critical is the 74% of middle managers who don’t have the influence or resources to make changes. Just imagine, the people tasked with the day-to-day management of the products, services and people of the company see the problems but can’t fix them! That’s a level of frustration that’s bound to sink any ship. If the people in charge of keeping the frontline, customer-facing workers happy and productive are also feeling helpless and hopeless, that dissatisfaction will be reflected to customers. Companies spend millions of dollars building their brand, making promises their customers expect them to keep. If customers don’t see those promises being fulfilled (let alone exceeded), they’ll find another company to meet their needs.

Not only is the company losing their customer base, they’re wasting money on advertising that’s trying to attract customers who won’t stay.

All this waste and turnover because of a lack of communication, understanding and alignment across upper management, middle management and employees.

It’s been said that if we fail to learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it. This Iceberg of Ignorance was first uncovered in 1989 – over a quarter of a century ago!

Is your organization in alignment from top to bottom to understand and meet employee expectations? If not, you can’t deliver on your brand promises and your marketing dollars are being wasted.

If you don’t know what your managers and employees know, the MBM SMART Branding process can uncover the truth. And we give you the strategies and tools to realign your organization for increased morale and sustainable profitability.