Copyright © 2019 by Tom Grooms
Tom Grooms is an independent author. The article is the sole opinion of the author and nonadvisory. Quotation of passages is permitted with proper acknowledgment of the author. All rights reserved.
As a college professor for over 50-years I used to ask the management majors why that was their major. The reply was so I can boss others and tell them what to do.
Now this may sound repetitious but it has a familiar ring. Working in a large organization and telling others what to do but not being able to tell others how to do it points out the end doesn’t justify the means.
Let’s explore the realm of royalty further …
International Employee Appreciation Day
The power of suggestion to weak minded Bosses is powerful.
International employee appreciation day is the first Friday in March. Now you have time to put in the suggestion box or post online asking for recommendations as a raise in pay and promotion for yourself ahead of time.
However you know if you have ever worked for a large organization the open door policy means don’t bother me and the suggestion box is for the recycled paper shredder.
Bosses Can’t Help Their Employees
Don’t be a threat to their title and rank.
Is it the responsibility of the Boss to take care of their employees or is it the employees responsibility to take care of their Boss, owner and the business?
Maybe a little or a lot of both each person is responsible for themselves and to each other.
Each person is on their own and out for themselves in corporate office jungle warfare.
The best way to get fired is be recognized as an upcoming star to succeed or replace your Boss. When a Boss is mentally ill with uneasiness and skepticism about their employee – aka also known as having ‘concerns’ – the employee receives degrading lies on their reviews and eventually fired.
The lesson here is you can’t be smarter than your boss or your career is toast.
Why Bosses Have Trouble With Their Employees
Every employee is a problem for their Boss unless you are off that day or on vacation.
This is a BIG problem. Usually it is thought of the other way around.
Typically, Bosses complain about their employees … all the time. It makes for great recreation lunch topics and slight career-buster comments in group sessions or board meetings.
Bosses don’t understand why employees are lazy, exercise no initiative, and can’t seem to do anything right. Employees are just stupid.
Yet it seems no one comes to the side of the employee. Why? – and if so is there anything that can be done about it.
No … you are subservient to the Boss and all the problems are your fault. That’s what makes a great Boss when the blame can be shifted to lesser icons.
Rethinking the Employee
No Boss in their right mind is going to intentionally help an employee pass them by.
As a former private consultant and advisor to businesses in their formative, startup, existing and later phases and stages, it was important for the Novice Boss to learn how best to create an ideal Loyal Employee.
This was critical in every new business and especially necessary when any size business enters foreign markets in the export-import game.
Employees need to understand how to become financially independent and successful in their job. Though the employee might consider their job dull boring and going-nowhere, this was the fault of the employee’s lack of initiative and never the Boss.
Perhaps no place on earth captures the union of Boss and employee quite like the high-cost of living states and major metropolitan areas in which Bosses and employees collide on a daily basis with debt-ridden employees living pay-check to pay-check.
This is important in the corporate slave market. Can’t have rebellion. But it does inspire a kissing-up to the Boss for Security to keep your job.
Here in our beloved right-to-work Texas – a state in which great entrepreneurs are born and bred rise to wealth and influence all the time not realizing the employee may be the most important node in the network of the business.
Let’s keep moving along. Please read-on my thoughts of how to Reimagine the Employee for the coming decades.
Moving from Acceptance to Action
Keep your head down and resume loaded.
Where money is the lifeblood of the modern business and the owner is the pioneer on business solutions, the employee many times unlocks key insights to success.
Employees are stressed about working and not knowing how to manage costs less than their income. Many employees have difficulty figuring out how to make ends meet on the pay they receive.
More often than not this results in lost productivity and bad customer service, especially when the Boss is not present. As for the employee it may jeopardize their job and career.
Most Bosses focus on the employee’s capabilities, hours worked, and if they showed up to work on time that day, which is not the same thing as showing up willing and ready to work. But who’s counting?
Happily, to reconcile a new breed of employee has emerged and repaired an unstructured lifestyle. Helping an employee succeed is possible and easily done if you understand what motivates each generation.
This is an important factor to recognize the spread of generations today are further apart in lifestyles and thinking than ever before.
It is something a Boss can do whenever a professional and copacetic bridge is established between the employee and their Boss. An Employee for Life will be the outcome.
Succeeding here isn’t just about getting an employee comfortable with the ability to function properly on a daily basis, but in addition having the employee as successful as the business.
This only comes about by clear and direct participation of the employee with educational OJT (on the job training) instruction.
The best way to focus on the financial aspects of the employee’s family is provide money education.
Will it always take? Probably not, but if it did the result for the employee is solvency and security.
The two are inseparable. The employee cannot do this on their own without continuous training and further informal education.
As an employee, you must learn to think incisively. That is be able to explain difficult ideas clearly and confidently. You do not need a college degree to do this. Only common sense.
Having a third party involved in the life of an employee is better than the Boss trying to re-create the employee which is a waste of time and money. The Boss needs to rethink the employee, not re-engineer the employee.
For a business owner to rethink an employee is to make a change of mindset in the definition of an employee. That is what an employee is, or should be, distinguished sometimes from what an owner expects or visualizes.
When a Boss speaks it is usually to give work orders. Not counsel – this is not the job or responsibility of the business owner or Boss.
The relationship between an employee and the business owner is one more of distance than respect. This is as it should be for the business and for many legal reasons.
The employee is not going to listen to a Boss because there is too much closeness. To reset the employee-boss relation into one of a personal counselor is ambiguous.
The lesson here is it is okay to provide information, education and training … but … stay out of other people’s business as you are not supreme and you don’t have all the answers.
We are told communication is a two-way street … it isn’t.
Can an employee regain the trust of a Boss? Nope … not in this lifetime. Best to move on.
The employee wants the feeling of security in their job. They want to know they have a long future with the business. They want to know their job is not in jeopardy on a daily basis or subject to blackmail by a Boss.
Yet neither can happen if the employee cannot understand how to make ends meet and put bread on the table without going further into debt each month. Employees want a safe clean place to live, hot food on the table, and modest savings to feel secure.
The Boss cannot solve this problem – not even with more money. Let me explain …
The employees of the world don’t ask for much or the impossible. Many are sustained creatures of habit usually seeking pleasure and entertainment to escape the hardships of life all the while knowing they will never be rich.
The truth of the matter is an employee has to do this for themselves. They cannot, if still living with the same habits of the past, see their way out as long as those habits are still unsuccessful. This is where the employee on most occasions need help. It could come from a good Boss but caveat emptor.
In other words people do not change, not really. At the very least they might modify their behavior if it is not too disruptive to their everyday lives and habits. You cannot blame them.
The Boss is the boss.
Employees will listen to their Boss to keep their job. If it is advice about their personal life, they will ignore it.
An employee learns the most from a Boss when given information that will help the employee keep their job, increase their pay or secure a future promotion. Otherwise, the employee will not listen and ignore anything else as all has been heard before.
The employee is better off to keep their opinions to themselves and never say anything negative or critical as the employee will always be interpreted as being a non-team player and problem.
The Boss can say whatever they want and it want bite them unless their Boss hears them. So don’t let your Boss hear any word of what you say or to others as it will eventually be used against you.
For the employee there are three things we need to think about …
First, an employee is not the Boss’ best friend or vice versa. Respect of the employee from the Boss and respect of the Boss from the employee is the basis for all good business relationships.
Second, an employee must trust their Boss. Privacy of the employee is sacred.
Third, an employee is a human being. An employee gets sick, has family emergencies, children needing their attendance on special occasions, and independent vacations away from their Boss and the business. Separation of dependence on the job is basic to loyalty.
Bad Boss is being a Scrooge with not letting an employee off to take care of their family when needed. Good Employee should treat this as sacred and not abuse or take unfair advantage.
We live in a world where the employee of today has no comparison to the employee of yesterday. In the past each age generation has a different mindset, needs, wants and expectations.
Rethinking the employee can result in great gains for both the employee, the Boss and the business.
How this is done in this skeptical world is a risk. But one worth taking.
Good Employee … Money is the highest motivator.
Bad Employee … Unhappiness is the mind killer.
Good Boss … Praise for an exceptional job above and beyond the minimum expectation.
Bad Boss … Condescending.
Now you chose …