One of the most important things managers need to be able to say – Part 2 (Blog #40)

A sign that says sorry

“Sorry, I completely stuffed up!”

It can happen to the best of them. And it all starts with landing a new job as a manager and in the process of trying to be an outstanding success they become tyrants and completely lose sight of how miserable their team has become working for them.

Why?

Because while becoming obsessed in succeeding for themselves, they forget their team is made up of human beings and not androids from another planet. So much so that certain needs that people need to function, like eating lunch and having a break, starts to become a rare thing instead of an everyday thing.

What do I mean?

Let me paint a real-life picture for you:

Coming back from maternity leave I was slotted in a new team and by the second day my new manager asked me, “So, Mimoza, what do you think of the team?” And with no hesitation I said, “Your team is dying!” You should’ve seen have face. But that’s exactly what I saw and this is why.

The first thing I noticed was that people weren’t taking their lunch break and in a lot of cases weren’t having lunch at all. And leaving on time, according to our manager, was treated as one of the biggest crimes you could commit. People that left on time were spoken about with resentment as our manager had this overwhelming belief that unpaid overtime was an unwritten requirement to the success of any job. Working hours past five o’clock become a norm so much that meetings were being booked past five o’clock daily.

And with all this there was our manager still trying to convince us that she really cared about us. Yeah right! I think it’s safe to say we all missed that feeling.

When one employee’s motivation sunk really low, our manager offered to give her a chance to work from home. But then demanded, like a dictator, the next day that she provide proof of what she did. Only to appear clearly disappointed by the work done.

When another employee called in sick our manager expressed her outrage to the team by asking me to call that person back demanding a sick certificate for the next day. Was it even a requirement based on HR policy?

The manager was disgusted at anyone’s request to ask for extra pay for the countless hours of overtime and asked that no one put any requests for leave for up to 6 months at a time. Imagine what her face looked like when someone did (lol).

And all this I witnessed in no more than a 3-month period. And throughout this process my manger was completely convinced that in the whole team only 2 people were unhappy and saw them leaving as the solution to the problem.

When one of those people did leave, my manager made it no secret that she was happy with the decision, and yet it only took a couple of weeks to call her back to ask if she was willing to come in and help us out on finalizing a few things. Hang on a second, I thought she wasn’t right for the job?

By the end of those 3 months, within a couple of weeks, more than half the team left, either leaving to no job at all or moving onto another department.

And how was this handled by the company?

The following Monday, after half the team had left, our manager together with the CEO addressed the team, or what was left of it, with the news that she was also suddenly leaving by the end of the week. And the reason they gave us was that now she was working on another project somewhere else.

What utter bullshit! SHE GOT KICKED OUT!

What should’ve happened?

How could both the manager and CEO have earned respect and gained integrity in a situation so horribly gone wrong?

By addressing the team with something like this:
“Guys, we’ve completely stuffed up and we’re sorry!” 

Blog Tip #40 – Aiming to be perfect isn’t a realistic goal, neither with employees or managers and yet this is exactly what’s asked for in the corporate world. So when you stuff up there’s a very good chance you’ll get kicked out. What’s worse, no accountability of the mistake is taken. The higher up managers blame it on the person that gets kicked out and the person that gets kicked out doesn’t get a chance to fix it.

All this does is sets the tone for a culture that leaves their employees thinking you either have to come across as perfect at what you do, or you’re simply not good enough for the job.

And what does this result in?

A culture where people don’t accept blame and go to extreme measures to hide their mistakes and flaws. No matter what, even if it means working against their teammates.

A fantastic book I’m reading at the moment, which I’ll go through with you in more detail in future blog posts to come is “Permission To Screw Up” written by Kristen Hadeed. This is an excellent read regarding this topic and my recommendation is that you definitely check it out. Hey, if you can create a kick-ass culture in a cleaning company where the work isn’t glamorous by far, then there’s no limit to what you can do in a company where the jobs are more attractive.

So, what did you think about blog post #40? What part can you relate to? Tell me about it by leaving a comment blow.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it. What companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

P.S. If you’re wondering what “One of the most important things that managers need to be able to say – Part 1” is, simply check out blog post #27 by clicking right here. It’s my most popular blog post thus far.

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Do you find yourself saying, “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just that…”? (Blog #39)

Zombie at work

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it or not? But there’s a lot of guilt associated with working in the corporate world and openly admitting that you hate your job. Even if it is so obvious that it’s written all over your face with that blank zombie like stare that screams out, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

But, despite this, most people will tend to continue as they are and with that  blank stare will say to you “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just that…” and give you every excuse under the sun to convince themselves to settle for a work life full of nothing. No purpose. No meaning. Nothing!

Why?

Because we’ve been made to believe that we’ve got it good because…

  • We work in an office.
  • We sit in front of a computer.
  • It looks and sounds good when we tell other people what we do.
  • Our parents feel proud of where we work. Even though they don’t really know what it is that we do, but the fact that you’re in an office and in front of a computer, according to them, you’ve done well.
  • It offers security that quite often kills any excitement or creativity that you once had for your work life/career.
  • And we’re not scrubbing toilets. (Yep, any excuse under the sun.)

So you’ll tell yourself just about anything just so you can convince yourself that you’re doing well. Despite the fact, you’re not even close to reaching your fullest potential and all you’ve really done is dipped your toe in the water.

And it’s these excuses that convince us to accept a job we hate, even though the work that you do insults your every existence and the way your manager treats you makes you feel so freaking small that comparing you to a smurf doesn’t even cover it.

But, I guess you’ve got it good because it all happens in an office and in front of a computer. (Yeah right!)

Blog Tip #39 – Gone are the days that you can consider yourself successful just because you’ve made it into the corporate world.

So, what?
What difference have you made?
What purpose are you part of?
What greater good are you contributing to?
How fulfilled are those crappy instructions, your manager gives you to follow, making you? My guess you’re far from it.

And as far as this concept of “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just…” this is nothing more than your attempt to settle for a work life of nothing.

Basically, you’re giving yourself permission to go dumb. To settle. But I guess it doesn’t seem as bad when you’re getting paid for it. And when it comes to whether you like your job or not, it’s quite straight forward, you either do or you don’t. And you know what the answer is. What’s confused you are the standards that others have exposed you to.

Just to help you eliminate any confusion on whether you like your job or not, check out my very first blog post 5 sure signs that you hate your job (Blog #1).

So, what did you think about blog post #39?

Let’s be honest. How many times have you said these words in a conversation “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just that…”?

Hey, we’ve all done it. Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

Subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course and my latest blog posts weekly.

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A HR training course, almost 2wks of company time WASTED and NOTHING ACHIEVED (Blog #38)

bored employee completing a HR course

One of the most frustrating things that can be said to me in regards to my whole 10 Years and 9 Jobs’ mission is when someone comes up to me and says, “Mimoza, what you’re talking about is what HR does.” I simply think to myself – here we go, another person that I just have to save. However, I must admit every time I get this comment it does inspire me to push my message and cause even more.

As you’d know from previous blog posts especially blog post #7 – 4 HR culture building activities that don’t work, I have yet to be exposed to a HR department that has actually done something to influence work culture in any way. It just seems as though the approach used is a “let’s just get these things ticked off our list so it looks like we’re doing something” approach, wasting time and making no difference to work culture in the process.

And here’s one very real example for you.

There we were working away like a freaking mad house. People within my team were skipping lunches, working until 11pm at night and working on the weekend started to become a norm. People were in tears, stressed to the point where they started to look like characters from “Night of the Living Dead” and people started resigning on a weekly basis, some to no new job. They just wanted to get the hell out of there. And with every person that left, the people that remained, including myself, were left feeling envious of how they never had to come back to that hellhole again.

Amidst all this out come HR with a 45 min training course for the whole company to complete to bring us all up-to-date on what’s considered harassment, bullying, etc. at work.

We all started to do it as there was a bit of pressure from HR to get it done as it was important for them to have this ticked off their list. And as a work colleague was doing it I remember when she turned over to me and said: “This is an absolute joke! So many things that are happening here in our team every day, according to this training course, easily falls under bullying. How’s this going to change anything?”

So we eventually all got it done. But the main question here is – What did it achieve? What changed?

The time that it took everyone in my team to complete was about 45 min. The number of people in the organisation was about 80, I’d probably say a bit more, but let’s keep it at 80 for the sake of this calculation.

45 mins x 80 people / 60 mins (to work out the total number of hours spent) = 60 hours which is about 1.6 week’s worth of work. 15 hours short of a full 2 week’s worth of work. Each week containing 37.5 hours.

And this calculation is also being quite generous as it doesn’t factor in the time HR spent in organising and implementing this training course.

What did this HR training course change?

Did it change the way people were treated?
No!

Did it change anything about the poisonous environment we were in?
No!

Did it do anything about the severe issues my team was experiencing?
No!

Was it worth 60 hours of the company’s time?
Hell NO!

Especially for a company that apparently was so strapped for time that people within my team were missing out on lunch, staying back until 11pm and working weekends non-stop.

And there we were wasting 60 hours on something that did nothing for us only to add a tick to the HR’s to-do list.

It never seizes to blow my mind on how many so-called experts simply don’t have a clue about what actually impacts work culture on a daily basis.

Blog Tip #38 – But this is where YOU can make a difference and get many steps ahead of all those industry experts that put out culture building activities that achieve nothing.

Check out my FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it. Simply subscribe to my blog 10 Years and 9 Jobs by clicking right here or scrolling down to the end of the page.

What did you think about blog post #38?

Have you ever experienced something similar? I’d love to hear your story.

Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

Subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course and my latest blog posts weekly.

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