…It’s Your Money and Corporate is to Blame That Your Not Getting It.
We all know people who follow their supervisor’s every whim – blowing the way the wind blows. For some reason, you can’t do that. You’re too independent, too creative, but competent nonetheless. Still, you’re being set up to fail. It’s all about money you can’t control–money that should be yours. It makes you want to cry.
They are everywhere. The paranoid “they.” Snakes. Worms. Rats. Not real ones, mind you–the human kind. Or, do you think that it is fine to follow the supervisor’s every whim without question – blowing the way the wind blows? Being a snake in the grass? Telling tales? Spying for the boss to curry favor? Office politics, some people call it. Should we make colleagues look bad by setting them up? After all, it’s just business. Back stabbing, others call it. Some would even call it bullying, which was a point in an article in GovLoop recently. Supervisors bullying in the workplace. Why must we all struggle for position?
You know your colleagues. You think you are safe, going to make friends–even a confidant or a love interest. Be careful. What may have been in the past, may still be in the past. Depending on your organization, maybe you’re not going to make a true friend or confidant. The truth is that friends in the workplace may be rare in this current economy. It’s not really their fault, but beware.
These same colleagues act as friends, sometimes from the moment you join the organization. They are sizing you up to prevent their own fall or to preserve their own position. They encourage you to do what they would like to do and then deny their part when your actions blow up in your face.
You know what they say, “There’s no crying in baseball.” Well, “There’s no crying in the workplace and don’t count on co-workers to be friends or confidants.” I hate saying it, but it is the only way to stay safe in your job.
So, when did the office become survival of the fittest? Is it the economy? I thought it was coming back. Are we expecting changes to make it leaner and meaner? It’s certainly meaner.
Here’s the basic problem: we lack of confidence in our employers to do right by us, to take care of us like they should. I have to admit I always felt the military had my back–even in the Reserves. In civil service, I didn’t really know whom I could trust, although I was more sure in Central Office in Washington. Maybe, this is more a phenomenon of a smaller workplace. Regardless, it shouldn’t be happening.
How did we get that way? How do we stop it? Why did we allow it to happen? How do we fix it, if it’s not too late? So many questions, so few answers.
We got there because we are insecure and we want more of the American economic dream we were promised. We can’t deny the huge gap between highest management and most of the workforce. Why is the economy in the shape its in? I wouldn’t blame just the banks or the stock market.
Huge corporations with eyes only towards making money are like the bombers who bomb a plant or a city; they don’t have to see the damage that is done to the people. Another 50 years and we’ll have a gap large enough to be a third world nation.
The Contributor says it all about the plight we’re in. “In 1965, the average CEO made 20 times the average worker. Now the ratio is 273 to 1, meaning the average CEO makes in a day what their workers make in a year.” Click on the link for more.
Workers in the Federal government are struggling for their positions, too, and living in workplace hell. According to an official report quoted by every magazine and newspaper with an eye toward government workers. Fewer and fewer Feds like their jobs and that’s been happening for the last three years. Look at the stats for yourself. Less than half of federal employees believe they will be rewarded or promoted for doing a good job, according to the latest government supported analysis. Government Executive Reports say, forty-three percent, or four out of every 10 federal workers, said they thought they would receive performance-based awards or better job opportunities at their agencies. For more information, see this entire article, Government Executive Reports, Majority of Feds Don’t Believe Agencies Will Reward or Promote Them.
How do we stop it? Corporations and Congress have been sent many hints in the form of letters, articles, protests, books and even a number of blockbuster films; yet, lobbyists still get paid big bucks to hang around government official, not only to protect corporate interests, but also to influence government decisions affecting their diversified corporation, which is the lobbyist’s job, of course. All this despite the fact that you probably need a degree in corporate law to figure out the diversification and appropriateness of a lobbyist’s contact with certain government officials is ludicrous. We continue to let lobbyists continue with our support. And corporations continue to send operations overseas, raise salaries and bonuses at the top, while letting the workers know they are lucky to have a job in this economy. So, we need to be more proactive than we are. We have to challenge more, not just complain on Face Book.
Why did we allow it to happen? Believe it or not, there came a time when we trusted corporations to self-regulate, usually at the behest of our government.
Some time ago, corporations raised the glass ceiling, but not the pay, so we should be partially grateful for that. Before that–corporations had pay levels that were more equitable, but then something happened. Maybe it was media attention or a drive to boost shares and suddenly we see CEOs and presidents making the equivalent of movie stars and sports figures to do the same as the person before him.
Did it ever occur to anyone, that if paying that much money to one person doesn’t give the company the return it needs, it has to come from someplace within the company? That is if the company still wants to look profitable and sound for investors. Where does the money came from to pay the “expensive executives?” The money that could have been invested in incentives awards and promotions, the kinds of things that people look for in a job. If paid to employees instead of one man or woman (glass ceiling), the spending by these employees is what helps the economy.
Part of the fix is found in this evaluation from Gallup’s Workplace Jedi on How To Fix Our Employee Engagement Problem, although I am a bit skeptical. Why? Because I’ve heard these words before. In Management and Leadership 101.
Gallup asks, “What’s causing 7 in every 10 workers to disengage and under-commit themselves at work?” That sounds even worse than the Feds. Gallup’s chief scientist on workplace management and well-being, Jim Harter, describes the most effective managers as being deeply caring–and capable of seeing, supporting, and adjusting to the differences in people. “They help people build jobs that fit them as an individual person, while still helping them get to the outcome they need from an organization perspective.”
Harter is describing a perfect leader and manager, of course, one without mandates from above, and assumes everyone under his or her command is willing and competent worker. I do believe the worker is deserving of this kind of treatment and it will help those dedicated to working.
For me, fixing the bigger problem is capping, for now, the huge executive salaries with an eye toward reducing them in near future. Without that, the workers have no future. And, that’s something to cry about. That’s my opinion anyway. Happy training.
This commentary is my opinion alone and The Free Management Library is not in anyway responsible for its content. I have written several articles of a similar nature. I tend to look at training, the workforce, business management, leadership and communication from a slightly different perspective than you might expect. I published an ebook called The Cave Man Guide to Training and Development in which I explain my reasons for looking at training and development in a different way. I look at it from the outside looking in, from the worker side, from the management side, from the trainer’s, and sometimes from the psychological side. I encourage others to talk about what they think about certain aspects of training on this website as long as they keep it generic. We’ll link to their site, and I hope you will comment here.
Take a peek at my site and you’ll find out more. By the way, I have an e-novel, Harry’s Reality, published by both Smashwords and Amazon. Like my other books, it is available in any digital format for the same price and also available through your own e-book reader bookstore. It’s a glance at what the future could be like if we stopped talking to one another and let the devices take over.
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