Friday, January 12, 2007

The treadmill of work

The mini-break of Christmas and New Year now seems a distant memory although Christmas was only 3 weeks ago. Work is picking up again, next week promises to be extremely busy. Some days it feels like being a hamster on a wheel, constantly peddling away but getting nowhere very fast and not rewarded for the effort either. Not that I dislike my job. On the contrary I am very much enjoying what I do now. It would just be nice if the culture of the organisation was different. The people I work with are excellent, a really great team. Its just that above them there is no recognition of what we do, of the effort we all put in every day and the results that we deliver for the Company. One of the stock phrases of our team is that we 'add value' to the business, a fact that seems to be sadly missed by everyone beyond our immediate manager.

Reward, is not as the Management seem to believe, just about money. Its about being appreciated and acknowledged. It would be nice if our more senior managers could stop by once in a while and actually show some - any - interest in what we do, what pressures we're facing, what's going well and what isn't. Talk to the staff, engage them in the way the business is run, share in their experience and expertise, motivate and lead through example. Build an office that is where everyone wants to come to work each day and feels that their individual contribution is important and necessary. A place where people feel free to enjoy their work and have realistic goals to work towards. In other words, actually manage instead of firing off e-mails from a distance to tell us how wonderful they think they are along with some patronising management speak about how we are appreciated and valued.

I don't expect things to change. They never do, for the better. I do wonder if this will be the pattern of my working life for the next 30 years? Maybe I should get out now. I've thought about it many times in the past. There is always the danger though that the grass, while it may look greener outside, maybe just as brown and worn as the grass where I am. Or to use another metaphor, jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Maybe I'll stick where I am for now and consider my options.

1 comment:

Carla said...

Where I work (public library) management appreciate what you do, but they also take advantage of getting work out of you that isn't really what you were hired to do--in other words, they make use of an individual's skills without paying you for it. I know my teaching and writing skills have been exploited, a colleague's foreign language skills are made much use of, one girl's design expertise is used--yet we all get paid on basic admin salary. We get paid to check books in and out and shelve them but we're asked to do a lot more. As part of my appraisal, I asked for a raise and was told AND I QUOTE "We neither punish for poor performance nor reward for outstanding performance through salary. The step you are on is where you are." Jeezus H, but that burned!!