Re: Like long hours?

Subject: Re: Like long hours?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 2002 10:38:40 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:

Okay, I can generally agree to those concepts Bruce. My only take is that of
environment. Some company's breed an environment where work-time is not measured
or considered. And therefore a lot of the people will work overtime. I don't
think these places should be punished because they have an environment like this.

I'm not concerned about punishment.

At the same time, I do think it's important to recognize that most of these companies are taking advantage of employee's enthusiasm and dedication. Too often,they promise pie-in-the-sky in the form of stock options or future benefits that never materialize.That's a form of hypocrisy, and hypocrisy deserves debunking.

I think there is some responsibility on the employee's part to make sure the work
environment suits their needs.

Personally, I try to take this responsibility. However, I would be mistaken if I assumed that, because I can, that everybody else can or will. Necessity constrains a lot of people.Many, too, are unaccustomed to take such responsibility, afraid to take it, or even aware that they can take it.

But, its
not really the employer's fault that people feel un-empowered.

I'm not really concerned about assigning blame any more than I am about punishment.

I don't believe that most employers consciously cause low morale among their employees. Yet, if they act only in their own short-term interest, low morale may very well be the result.An employers' long-term interest is best served by being aware of employees' interests, and being aware that they will sometimes conflict with the company's.

In the end, people have to empower themselves,but an employer can create an atmosphere in which they can do so more easily. If an employer really creates this atmosphere, and doesn't just pay lip service to it, then the payoff for the company should be better motivated employees.

Decent employers do try to balance their needs against those of employees.But they can't do that by pretending that their interests and employees' interests overlap completely. Nor can they simply ignore the inequality and pretend it's not there; they'll either be perceived as insincere or else become ineffectual because they are ignoring their own needs (I speak from experience here).

I agree. The balancing act is difficult. But too many managers aren't even aware that it's necessary.

In particular, from my experience as a university instructor and as a sometime executive, I've observed a very basic fact: people hate taking orders. As they mature, they learn not to let this resentment rule their actions, but the resentment is there. Too many people in management are unaware of this fact. Some even act as if employees are a different species that won't react the same way that managers would.

Obviously, a manager can hardly avoid giving orders. Yet giving too many, or giving them at the wrong time or (worst of all) giving orders than can't be carried out is usually self-defeating.All these mistakes only rouse that dormant basic resentment.

True. But, you could argue that executive golden parachutes are a "reward" for
sacrificing their lives for the company. Most executive types are obsessive
workaholics. And therefore, they have ... to some extent ... earned perks.

Yet an employee who works over-time is arguably equally deserving of those perks. An employee's contribution may be different from an executive's, but it's at least as necessary.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"rats may be rich or rats may be clever,
but one thing of which they'll never get rid
My Dog
knows where the bones are hid."
-OysterBand, "My Dog"

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Re: Like long hours?: From: Andrew Plato

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