Tongue in Cheek: Planning for employee wellbeing
Tongue in Cheek: Planning for employee wellbeing
Post written by Paragon Interiors   May 22, 2018

cid:image004.png@01D3C2B4.F84A3130 Many employees believe their management don’t give a toss about their wellbeing – and many would be right. As we understand it, an office is neither a prison nor a playground. It’s a space with purpose that encourages specific employee behaviour to achieve a desired outcome, one that reflects the collective goal as planned and disseminated by management.

Both the environment and manner in which managers interact with employees and disseminate information are of utmost importance. A sniveling PA is of no use to man nor beast so we thought we’d take a tongue-in-cheek look at management styles not entirely conducive to a happy workforce or great results.

The “loskop” boss is a nightmare – it’s like trying to communicate with a mongoose that’s been let loose in a waste paper basket. Often creative by nature and seldom present on Mother Earth, these managers do not like their desks tidied lest the chaos is reorganised into something they no longer recognise. Elusive documents bearing signatures and titles like “Agreement to Build a R500 million Sports Stadium” are discovered buried under several 2013 dry cleaning slips, a wine club newsletter, a valid passport and a letter of demand – along with staplers, paper punches, and several personalised pens employees have been hunting down for weeks. With the attention span of an amoeba, introducing and managing a comprehensive emotional and mental health initiative or time management course for the workforce is unlikely to form part of this manager’s repertoire of managerial skills. More on that next time…

Then there’s the abdicator/absentee boss, a shameless breed often to be found on the golf course or a favourite restaurant when expected in the boardroom. The employees who faithfully cover for them eventually develop an immunity to lightning bolts. An insidious way of promoting dishonesty, it scores a perfect 10 on the ethics seismograph. Unable to appreciate the fine line that separates delegation from abdication, they feel perfectly justified in evaporating into thin air and leaving subordinates to slog it out and take the heat while they lay claim to the management level salary. Any coaching on corporate ethics would be a complete travesty and unlikely to succeed because workers are not fools.

Not too distant from the tyrant is the slave owner. Unaware that the Abolition of Slavery Act came into force across the British Empire in 1834, this boss assumes ownership of his/her employees. Devoid of empathy, respect for others or their personal time, this sorry case takes ownership of employees 24/7. It’s the power trip that says, “Because I pay you, I control you”. Employee chairs are never warm for long because life is grim under this type of rule and departure (rather than mutiny) is infinitely preferable in terms of outcome. One can take solace in history – Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi prove that “power leads to its own demise”.

The hyperactive boss is utterly exhausting. They fire off instructions, leaping effortlessly from one subject to the next, never quite settling on a subject or an instruction but managing to rearrange the office furniture, fix the flowers and chat on the mobile simultaneously. Caught in the vortex of their frenzied lives, employees are left to drown in adrenaline, emails and phone calls. You totally get why the introduction of an on-site fitness programme designed to promote balance, joy, longevity, well-being and productivity would be an exercise in futility. The fancy footwork of this workforce is already so finely honed that they’re capable of changing direction faster than an Italian army tank.

There are other profiles that have escaped our scrutiny this time around. We concede that there are many wonderful bosses out there who know how to capitalise on the skills of their staff for the benefit of the organisation and the individual. Keenly researched pearls of wisdom on how to create a work environment that pumps with energy, creativity, cohesiveness, productivity and harmony will follow in the next couple of weeks. Be sure not to miss it!