Happy in Your Work
It’s an often quoted truism that it’s important to be happy in our job because we spend such a large part of our waking lives there. If you work full time, that’s at least eight hours a day of being in a potentially stressful environment week after week, month after month. For that reason, even a slightly challenging workplace will have a significant influence on your mental, emotional and – eventually - physical health. Not to mention the commuting there and back!
As employment culture has changed so much in the last decade following the worldwide recession of 2008, this naturally has a bearing on some of our clients we speak to. Wage freezes, job cuts and downsizing are regular themes on the news. On the positive side however, there’s much more home-working, tele-working, family-friendly arrangements and flexitime than ever before in more enlightened organisations.
Even with these more forward-thinking concessions to working life, many people still suffer from age-old job issues which can then make their entire lives a misery. Those who are self-employed aren’t immune either, as they have many ‘bosses’ in the form of their customers or clients who wield power over business growth, reputation, income and simply whether you can have a pleasant interaction with them - or not.
Two of the biggest factors that can negatively affect our working life are your boss and the wider organisational culture:
Having a boss who isn’t very capable with the ‘man management’ side of their role is a common, but tricky problem. Such people are often promoted up because they’re strong achievers or very task-orientated, rather than being a competent ‘people person’ who cares about their team. Even worse is a boss who ignores the part in their job description about supporting subordinates and freely uses bullying and coercion tactics to get results instead.
One of our basic human needs is to feel that our contribution is valued, so if your own manager never ever acknowledges your efforts, there is something wrong with them – not you.
If you have a manager like this, it may be possible to get the support and guidance you need from other colleagues or other bosses hierarchically equal to, or above, yours. If that isn’t an option, consider speaking to Human Resources or if you have one, your local union representative. If you’re not already in a union, it could be a good time to consider membership because of the advice and support they offer.
Lack of Support in the Organisation
Work frustrations will of course feel magnified when it’s not just a single manager who’s the problem. Organisational apathy, or a negative culture towards employees does occur, especially when it comes to saving money and as a consequence, withdrawing staff perks or previous entitlements.
If an organisation is led by a strongly profit-led culture, employees can be made to feel second-best. However, if you find yourself in this position, it may be worthwhile to speak to your colleagues to gauge wider opinion and work together to challenge some of the worse management transgressions against staff with HR or the managers themselves. Ultimately, if a work environment is so irreconcilably negative, staff will vote with their feet, so looking for a new job is the last stage before abandoning what was maybe once a good organisation, but has sadly deteriorated.
If this has brought up some issues you’d like me to explore further through a reading, call me – Loraine on PIN 7776 - and I’ll be delighted to see what is in store for you.