4 Tips to Make Your Workplace Better

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This blog was originally posted by Chris Fields on the Peformance I Create blog. Twice a month Blogging4Jobs will feature a guest post from the up-and-coming multi-contributor blog, Performance I Create. 

“Ugh, This Place Sucks, I Hate Working Here!”. Believe it or not about half your employees say that to themselves or out loud every day!

I’m not scared of you, I can tell you the truth with no fear. As a Consultant, I get to talk to and work with a lot of people and it’s awesome. I get to hear all the real crazy stuff that goes on in the workplace. And I can talk about it because there’s no retaliation for me. I’m going to be  honest, not to be confused with mean or messy, HONEST. And here’s some news for you – your workplace sucks. Of course your employees are not going to tell you the truth because they are afraid of you and what you will do to them if they voice their true opinions. Of course they think you can track any and everything they do – even on anonymous surveys, so they lie. And when the ones that just don’t give a damn tell you how they really feel, you will simply dismiss them as angry.

But why DOES your office place suck and what can you do about it – well here you go:

Denial

You are in denial my friend. You’re insulated and don’t hear the complaints from your employees. You assume that since it’s quiet, it’s okay. You’re also delusional, because you think your office is great therefore everyone else must think it’s great too. I’ve referenced the show “Undercover Boss” in the past on this website, because the situations are always so similar, the executive goes on the front-line and sees how really screwed up things are. They make adjustments of course, but what’s stopping you from seeing the real deal? Do you need a disguise and a camera crew to help you figure it out?

Avoidance

Worse than denial because you know it sucks but you just don’t care – you are trying to either retire before the shit hits the fan, or keep the dogs at bay long enough to secure another position. You flat out avoid any analytics such as exit interview information, employee survey data, retention reports, attrition reports and all things improvement. You don’t care what’s happening in your company. You just want bodies to move products. If the government would allow it, you would train service animals to work for you. You just don’t care. And forget about boosting moral and engagement – too much work. Stop ignoring your people, ask tough questions, listen don’t talk, don’t get defensive and DO NOT try to go after them for sharing their concerns.

Zero Accountability

Your place sucks because no one is willing to take responsibility for it and clean it up. No one wants to be in charge of engagement, process improvement and training (in all its forms). The complaining, the analyzing and strategic planning…it’s a lot. Organizational change and development is a lengthy process; changing the hearts and minds of incumbent employees is very difficult. Creating extrication strategies and succession plans can be painstaking work, but someone has to do it – so stop punking out. Stop being lazy- get involved, take on the tough tasks and become a champion not a chump.

Office Politics

The endless games that are played in corporate America are ridiculous. You don’t know who to trust, who to confide in, who to align with or who is trying to cut your throat. It’s a shame but it happens in every office in America.  And please, the ass grabbing that goes on, the posturing for position by engaging in inappropriate relationships – those are rampant. Office politics, favoritism and nepotism can be minimized by having transparent processes, open door policies and honest communication without fear of retaliation, maybe you should think about hiring an Ombudsman. And stop hiring your friends and family members IF they are not qualified! Stop protecting the underachievers, they are killing the morale, which kills engagement, which kills productivity and ultimately effects the bottom line.

There are so many people waiting for the job market to get stronger so they can jump ship. People who look happy and engaged – onboarded and content but really can’t stand working with/for you. Most people do not hate their job duties; they hate their bosses or co-workers. “So get another effing job” you say or they should be “happy to have a job” yeah, you can look at it that way OR you can try to make it a better place to work.

You can never ever please everyone in your organization and you will never achieve 0% attrition. Fact is, you want some movement – once you’ve addressed your work place issues and corrected them, you can manage out undesirable employees (even upper level employees) and this way everyone is happier and healthier.

Happy employees are more loyal and productive.

Photo Credit.

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