Common comments often heard were: ‘Why should we bend over backwards if management is not committed to us,’ and ‘just because I’m single and childless doesn’t mean I have the will or the desire to work a 12-hour day, six days a week.’
There is a hierarchy of work-life needs that if unmet result in workplace tension, work dissatisfaction, and marital conflict. The most basic worklife need is individual respect followed by balancing time on and off the job, and work flexibility.
‘Touchy and feely’ are in as companies promote inspiration and creativity. Companies can’t cut employees anymore since many cut to the bone. Many people feel cynical, dispirited and demoralized. What can be done?
Why not have Chicken Soup consultants read uplifting stories about people overcoming adversity in life and at work. One story explains how a client empathized and reacted to finding a friend’s mother was dying of cancer.
How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things but by how well we are understood.
Andrew Grove, CEO Intel
Positional or hierarchal power allows command and control or management by decree. But how do things get done in flat, cross-functional teamed and virtual organizations? More often, it is through influence tied to knowledge, access to resources, and persuasion.
Being a Brand U manager has its power, money, and perks. The rich but unhappy syndrome is called ‘affluenza.’ But, there is a high price to being a manager these days. But why are so many rich but unhappy.
The hours are long for a typical Brand U manager. Forget 45 hours a week. Two highly paid Brand U managers may now do the work of three. Also even with telecommunications, customers want personal contact – high touch, high tech. This means that many managers and professionals must commute or fly more often resulting in less time with the family. More unhappiness.
In this Brand U world, all the rules are different and people don’t know what to do in what order because their 30 years of experience haven’t prepared them for all the change – think disruption.
So, it’s not a lack of ideas. It more often comes down to poor execution, which may mean not getting things done, being indecisive, or not delivering on commitments
The problem is that work is consuming more time. Family, social, and community activities eventually suffer. The ‘work until you drop’ mentality has lost much of its allure. A balanced life, especially to those of us who must juggle career and family has become a status symbol. More Brand U’s are hearing the refrain, ‘get a life.’
More than one in twelve Brand U’s has consciously made a life change such as reducing hours on the job or refusing a promotion to gain time with our families
Something happens and the immediate response is they caused, forced, or did it to me. We’ve all become extraordinarily good at the blame game. Personal responsibility has disappeared and become replaced by victimization.
They did it to me! In some cases this is true. But in the majority of cases, it seems a person didn’t exercise a wise choice, made a bad decision, or didn’t say one simple word, ‘no.’
Pay is also shifting to motivate and reward measurable results. A part of a paycheck may even be at risk. A clerical person may find 5% of his or her annual salary at-risk while a senior manager may find 30% or more of a salary at risk.
If the company meets all its goals then the employee receives all of the salary. If only certain goals are reached then the salary is adjusted accordingly.
Do happy Brand U’s make better and more profitable companies? If the answer is a demonstrable yes, then people really do matter. The Gallup survey discussed early in the chapter found there was a positive correlation between worker attitudes and a company’s financial results.
The survey found that four attitudes correlate to higher profits: 1. Brand U’s feel they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day; 2. they believe their opinions count; 3. they feel their fellow workers are committed to quality; 4. they’ve made a direct and personal connection between their work and the company’s mission.[i]
[i] Grant, Linda, “Happy Workers: High Returns,” Fortune Magazine, January 12, 1998, p. 81.