Affluenza in the Workplace and the Need to Develop a Culture of Accountability

By Cathy Moreton Gray, JD

We’ve been hearing a lot about the “Affluenza” defense used by a young man to avoid jail time when his defense team successfully argued that his “wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility.”

This raises a question for me. Have we created a kind of “Affluenza” in the workplace by coddling employees who aren’t performing? Are we letting employees hide in teams where their individual contributions, or lack thereof, are covered up?

We need to put the “I” back in team and hold employees accountable for their individual performance, according to Nicole Price of Cy Wakeman who spoke at BLR’s 2015 AEIS in November. According to Price, “one of the key differentiators between high performing companies and other companies is the way they manage performance across the board.”

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