Category Archives: Work

Employers – Being Consistent & Blame Culture

This is part of a series of posts that have been inspired by the attitudes of employers over recent years. Having worked in a few places and seen how the ‘Inspiration Leadership Handbook’ is applied (or in most cases not) I feel that getting this out into the blogging is long overdue.


 

As an employee, you’re trying to do the right thing normally. Based on what you’ve been asked to do by your direct boss and what you understand generally as company policy. For example, if there is a company process to go through before releasing a deliverable generally I as an employee will follow this.

But this time your boss needs it really quick, for whatever reason and you’re asked to bypass this process. Normally with the verbal command ‘Ship it!’

The employee feel uncomfortable, stuck between a rock and hard place – do they say NO to their boss? Or do they break the company process?

Normally the boss wins as he or she is there bearing down on you. So you do it. Then sometime later guess what – something’s gone wrong with it in some way, it’s not right at all and awkward questions are asked.

“Why was the process not followed – it would have picked this up!” Or something of a similar tune id uttered. The employee looks over to their boos and it’s at this point that the measure of how good or bad that boss is becomes apparent.

Sometimes they fess up – good boss, but sometimes they lay the blame on the employee. The poor soul has no backup, no proof and the only thing they can do now is either try and argue and probably lose or accept the blame. After the meeting a quiet thank you is sometimes uttered when big boss is out of ear shot. Whether or not you get the thank you, watch this guy, he or she is trouble with a capital T. Either it’s time to move on or time to make a stand, but seriously don’t take this kind of shit.


 

Company processes and policies exist for a reason, so any manager should NEVER ask their staff to take short cuts, it’s not reasonable and it’s not professional. Consistency will make sure that they know the boundaries, in a way it’s like dealing with dog or children. They’ll behave better when they know what to do.

As for blame culture, if employers haven’t learned by now that any blame culture in any company is toxic then it’s about time they did. Why are they toxic – simple, blame cultures only ever work one way and that’s shit!

 

Simon 🙂

 

Employers – Valuing Employee’s

This is part of a series of posts that have been inspired by the attitudes of employers over recent years. Having worked in a few places and seen how the ‘Inspiration Leadership Handbook’ is applied (or in most cases not) I feel that getting this out into the blogging is long overdue.


 

Rewards

Rewards are great aren’t they? Nothing makes you feel better than when an unexpected surprise bonus or something comes to you and you can spunk the extra cash in five minutes flat and feel good about it… or not as the case may be. It’s a sword with two edges and if wielded like an idiot, it will get ya!

This happened maybe 10 years back now:

“We had a bonus a few months back” my colleague tells me “everyone got one!”

“No, we didn’t – I’m sure of it” was my reply. My colleague however was adamant (not the pop singer). We agreed to dig out out payslips and compare, sure enough we compare June’s payslip and there it is on hers, not on mine. At this point you can imagine I feel really good about myself… not!

I was encouraged to talk to the CEO about it, being the non-confrontational person I am this isn’t what I like doing! Besides it smacks of begging and I don’t do that and right now I feel a bit unworthy too. So she drags me by the arm and marches me to the CEO’s office and explains to the CEO what’s happened. He says that this will be sorted out.

A few weeks later I have a meeting with the CFO, where he explains that my line manager had essentially forgotten about me and there was an apology with a rather whiny excuse that the bonus pot has all been used now. As a goodwill gesture they would give me £150 in my next pay packet. This was a mixed blessing, it was great to get something but at less than half of what my colleague got and after I had to ask for this the goodwill was kind of lost.

 

I wish I had never asked!

 


 

Treating everyone the same

This kind of thing is a minefield for employers and to some degree I sympathise becasue no matter what you do there is always one complaining and you know what – I’ve never wanted to be the one to complain.

But let face it forgetting people isn’t great and this often happens where people are invisible. What the hell are you talking about I hear you cry? Is there a whole workforce or invisible on Earth.

Well no, it just seems it. What I’m talking about is about not seeing what’s gone on in the background. I’ve had to watch while people who have asked me to prepare something for them. They’ve sat down for a few hours and worked out what they need. Then it’s given to me, I create the design, get it approved, raise the orders and arrange the manufacture. They then take this, test it and go yep, that’s good.They are then packed off on a jet somewhere for a week.

When they come back these people are applauded for their efforts in getting this demonstration done and well done and get awarded for their efforts as it pulled in some sales and things are good.

After you’ve seen it for the twelfth time it wears thin believe me. Just becasue you can’t see what the person in the background has done doesn’t mean it matters any less. It often matters more. On the back of this this also includes the office admin who arranged their air tickets, travel and hotels. The IT guru who makes sure he can get internet access, email and phone for their time away.There were loads of people involved in getting this to happen, but they’re rarely even given a nod.

I imagine if you go an a cruise (I can only imagine this) it cool to go and see the bridge and chat with the officers. But this ship would be going no where if it wasn’t for the poor sods in the engine room. They matter, just as anyone working in the background matters and trust me it pisses them off when this isn’t acknowledged. One of the lovely thing these corporate people like to tell us is that there is no I in team. Right, so start acting like it!


 

Giving Employee’s Value

Rewards is just one way of giving employee’s value, but let’s be honest perhaps the best way is to not forget them and give them the credit they deserve becasue everyone makes a difference. The hot shot who bring in the money is the flashy git who everyone see’s and may even have all the witty one liners. But I bet it would be a different story if he was the one that had to organise his own flights!

Simon 🙂

 

Employers – Employee / Company Loyalty

So this is one of the most highly charged subjects regarding employment in my point of view. Loyalty to a company is a very one sided affair and when we look at today’s job market is very old thinking.

Loyalty is a trait where no matter what, through thick and thin people remain loyal to each other and don’t give up on each other no matter what happens. Company loyalty is a different affair however and it has to be. They want the employee to be loyal to them and in return they will get to keep their job for as long as it’s convenient for them and you’re useful.

Ok, that’s not what they say to you but it’s what it means becasue in the harsh economic world we live in people are laid off, sacked and all that kind of wonderful stuff. But despite this there is still a loyalty expectation on an employee. This really is a little unfair, in the business world this kind of one sided agreement wouldn’t be tolerated, so why expect it of an employee.


 

Apparently ( I saw this online so I take it with a pinch of salt) Richard Branson says:

“Train your staff so they can leave, treat them so they won’t want to”

No, this is the kind of thing which is is an actual agreement. The company you work for wants you to work and you want to work for them. Train them to do the good job you want them to do and in return reward them for extra effort and good work.

There’s no mention of salary in this, this is perhaps becasue it’s a given. The company makes money from the employee’s work if it’s properly organised and in return you’re paid. This goes beyond that, it’s telling people that it wants to invest in an employee and help them to do great work so they’re rewarded. There’s no obligation on either side to expect loyalty as we all know no-one can guarantee this. But while working for this company you’ll feel empowered and appreciated.

Who would want to leave that kind of company?

Simon 🙂

#employees #employers #jobs #companyloyalty

 

Employers – Understanding Employees

You work too slow

You don’t know what you’re doing

I don’t like the quality of you’re work

I don’t like how you walk

I don’t like how you laugh

This was the short version, spilled out of his obnoxious gob as I sat there reeling from the tirade of abuse. Under normal circumstances this guy would be smacked in the gob by most other people, but I sat there with a professional hat on and took it.

Not only was there not one example of any of this half of the abuse directed at me was personal, plus there was one slight circumstance which might have explained a lack of performance lately – I had only two weeks previously attended my mother’s funeral after  she lost a short fight with cancer.


 

Understanding

This kind of sledgehammer discipline towards people may have been acceptable in the past, but it would have been a long time ago. Understanding where an an employee is at and why they might be struggling and helping them get through it is surely better for them and their employer?

Going through that kind of destructive criticism isn’t going to help. It felt really bad in fact. Every day I felt my guts twist inside me when I was in there, every day I struggled to think of a way out and worked like fuck thinking it was me that was the problem.

So when I was re-reviewed I was told I was on further probation. Apparently most of my team had been in on the meetings that had decided I wasn’t doing great but not bad. Every single person involved had either forgotten what I had been through or couldn’t put themselves in my shoes and think what the hell I must bee going through.

Three days later I quit.

Well done you guys, if you wanted to inspire someone to work then you failed. If you wanted me out well done! These six months of my working life were my worst ever and it was so unnecessary. A little understanding would have gone a long way and would it really have put you out.

On a side note, the best think I heard from my boss here was “Where are you pissing off to?”

As if I told him the truth!

Simon 🙂

 

Employers – The Employee / Employer Relationship

Since the last week of my job backfired a bit I’ve been thinking about the employee / employer relationship. I wanted to have a series of posts talking about my views from the way I see as like an open letter to employers about what it is that makes an employee want to work for and please their employer.

I thought for this first one it’s about the relationship and to see how things have changed a bit let’s turn the clock back to Victorian times. It was in these times that Britain was at it’s peak, technologically, economically and it’s standing int he world seemed un-movable. This Britain was built on what today we see as slave labour, workers had little to no rights. Employers would move clocks back and forward to suit themselves and get more work out of every employee. The price of disobedience or lack of performance was instant dismissal, which would lead to tough times and eventually the workhouse.


 

Moved on

Thankfully things have moved on a bit and there are now rights and laws in place that are always being reviewed and argued about and ultimately changed. But the world is learning that employing someone and expecting the same out of each employee isn’t as simple as paying them and expecting them to do great things.

Why is this?

Simple – everyone is different. A family person is likely to not stay as late as a single person. People have lives outside of work, but some don’t and dedicate their lives to their jobs. Comparing any one employee to another as a yardstick is as pointless as comparing a fingerprint. Everyone is aware that as job has to be done and normally every one will do their very best. Because they want to, sure they want to get paid and in nearly every case NEEDS to get paid, but using that to hold power over an employee is bad form.


 

Inspiring Employee’s

Pretty much every employee in every company want to be inspired to do the best job they can – they want to be seen to be doing a good job, they want to feel that their efforts and time are pleasing their employer and employee wants to please.

So when you sit in a room with your manager and they rattle on for 20 minutes about the fact that you don’t works as well or as fast as they like is that inspiring – NO! Why these managers don’t take a different angle on it I have no idea. For example I was told that I don’t work fast enough and spent 20 minutes discussing distractions and how I can work faster. When I queried them on the quality of my work the reply was “Er – I think it’s ok”

Great – you’ve just admitted that you don’t give a flying fuck about what I do – as long as it’s quick.

Turning this around it could have gone another way:

“Hey Simon, you’re doing some great work but there’s going to be a lot going on over the next few months and we need your help to get boards out faster – How can I help with this?”

The end result is still the same, I feel better because I’ve been told I do good work and the manager would feel better for having a positive conversation. Why is this so hard? Also, sometimes things take the time they take for a reason, if a manger thinks it can and should be done quicker – maybe they should show the employee how! There’s no better inspiration that a leader that actually leads.

This is the first of several posts on employers… if you like it say so – have any ideas to add, then let me know!

Simon