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It is a rare television programme which can step out of the TV guides and into the mainstream news section of the press but Broadchurch not only achieved this feat it did so across the media spectrum. The series is being hailed for its ground breaking format which not only had the nation speculating, and betting, on the killer’s identity but more importantly showcased the way in which a murder can affect the lives of everyone within a community.
Over the course of eight weeks Broadchurch examined and exposed our prejudices; graphically demonstrated what can happen when gossip and speculation take over communities and illustrated the way in which people’s back-stories can colour their actions.
In effect Broadchurch brought us two lessons which every line manager ignores at their peril. Firstly that unless we understand what drives our employees we could be letting ourselves in for some shocks and secondly the way in which office gossip can destroy people. Of course, we aren’t suggesting that we go round and quiz every employee on their back story but any attempt to maximise employee engagement is doomed to failure if the culture of the organisation is closed and treats people as mere assets of the company.
Engaging employees in the values and aims of the organisation will only work when we look on those employees as people, when we encourage dialogue and openness; when we work with, not against, age and cultural differences. To do otherwise is to perpetuate a toxic culture of silos, bullying and gossip and Broadchurch has shown us what that can lead to.