The rightful way to make an employee unhappy


ManagersManagement is a difficult art, management in a big corporations is more difficult. Management in a corporation where multicultural requirement is a need is even more hard.

We all know it and, at a certain extent, we have to deal with it. We can’t expect everything works good and right, and we have to show flexibility and we have to open to change and embrace the new but…

Let’s be real, no matter how much effort you put sometimes things are just not right.

There are plenty of ways a company can make your life miserable, and usually they try to ise them all, sometimes the environment is so strong that even the best manager have to comply to disgraceful attitudes.

let’s name some that can turn your working life in a nightmare, some are directly related to management styles, other to corporate rules (mainly thanks CFO and HR)

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Micromanagement

This is a common nightmare. The manager that want to check every single details. but not in a helpful proactive way, but in a compulsory need to not give delegation or autonomy to the people.

Usually micromanagement comes with a exaggerated manager ego (I am not right because I’m right, I am right because I am the Boss) and a fundamental mistrust of the other people.

Quite a sociopathic attitude? not really is more common than we should expect. It happen that people moved to management position change their attitude and adhere to this model.

Usually the micromanager is also extremely rude and impolite, the kind of guy that calls you at 10pm shouting if you do not anser immediately. you do not have right to your personal life, you life should be built around your manager.

nd of course the micromanager value your time in a different way, so no matter if you reach your goal, the important thing for the micromanager are:

  • do it his-her way
  • time, the more you stay at office the better (so it can control more?)

The point is if you are looking for a life balance, with this kind of managers the only way is to rule out your brain from you work, and just act as a robot. But I can assure you he-she will shout anyway

Yes Man

You know those managers that follow blindly company rules? even the most stupid one? Have you ever worked in that environment?

This situation usually comes together with the denial. Evidence does not touch the manager that will always find a good reason to justify company strategy. When they talk it seems that everyone (except you) are working in a fairyland where all help together, communication is perfect, company treat employees like sons or daughters, and all are working for the greater good.

of course you that object that the reality is different are the point of failure of this model if problems comes they have to be hidden or the blame have to e given to someone in a lower hierarchical status.

No roads no direction

Another typical things that make people unhappy is not to see directions, again a trait of many managers. Every change is allowed and you can’t see a strategy or purpose. Hard to be committed when you can’t see a good reason to do it. But of course every change has a reason, and if you do not cope is you that resist to change.

KPI or how to make clear you will never reach them

KPI (Key Performance Index) are another instrument of torture if used well (and they know how to se it). Basically the idea is to put them at a level that are not reachable, but in a way the fault is your one.

KPI are not necessary sales target wich, by definition, are unreachable, but a complex set of manure used to drive you mad. The more your job is based on intellectual stuffs the better will be your KPI. used as a metric from someone that probably has not idea what your work actually is. but at the end we are all replaceable, and so your work is not so important.

KPI are a fine agreement between two evil entities, your management hierarchy and HR department. HR apparently usually put a lot of effort in designing non understandable systems that seemed to used to target the employee to lower his-her satisfaction, self esteem, professionalism and committment.

Those little financial rules

CFO and financial office are another piece of the puzzle. there are plenty of rules that cha drive you mad.

The complicated procedures to make an expenses refund request are usually a good indicator, the more complex the more easily you get frustrated.

but there are those little rules that really piss you off:

  • Some companies does not allow you to take Mileage gained with flight, since company pay those miles are of the company…

this would be even correct if the company would demonstrate the same attention to the employee need, but usually this is just one little drop in a “cut expenses beyond ridicolousness”

  • Some companies put rules on your laundry, the craziest? You can claim laundry for everything but underwear (it is real,it is real, I can prove it)…
  • Some companies have a certain discretionary ability to move expenses form what is personal expenses to what is business related.

it is quite a common understanding that you have to advance a certain amount of money, wich will be repaid accordingly to the company process. Pity this process usually takes a long time, and the more you have had to advance (bigger expenses claim) the more you have to wait.

Of course the fact you are not travelling for your happiness and pleasure but for job does not come to the mind of the CFO that is probably sat in the office, and when move take a first class flight and can claim every expense.

Cars and other allowance

Ok you give me something for work that is also a benefit. Benefit means it is part of my incomes. so why sometimes this benefit turns out a mer cost since you can not use it for non-working activities (or the constrain are so hight you simply don’t do it?)

From not allowing your husband-wife to drive, or not covering with insurance in non working trip there are a lot of ways to make a benefit non usable.

Of course the best way is not give it to you at all with some good reason, but better not complain, all have to do some sacrifice for the company ou should try to understand.

Phone is another wonderful thing that can slightly make you uncomfortable, mostly if you are an international traveller. policy on phones can var from company to company. some simply does not care (up to you), other provide sim but not phone (but then require you to install any kind of crap on your personal device, it is called BYOD). A classic is to pretend you do not use phone for personal reason (calling family) even if you are on business trip, at the end you live for work not for your beloved. and of course roaming is out of question in most of the case.

Sacrifice and culture

we should all do something for the company.

It hurts me but …

a little sacrifice is mandatory

all nice statements if the company would pay it back with the same coin, but usually those requirements are mono-directional, from management to you.

Is like when a CEO ask for a important layouts and then got a mega bonus, sacrifice hurts mostly if it seems that you   (and your peers) are the only one which is required.

In some culture the idea of sacrifice is embedded, but here the aim is to leverage the idea the lower hierarchy has do extra job (hours, activities) because is the right thing to do; something like if the contract that ties the relationship between employer and employee does not already states what an employee is paid for. If sacrifice can be understandable in exceptional situations, can’t be the rule.

Same with culture. Embracing new culture is a bidirectional activity, you can’t ask to understand new culture if you close yourself. There are company that beside the claiming to be “international” are in reality completely closed to the other work culture. typical example is the HR manager that does not even talk the local language.

Flexibility

For some strange reason flexibility is a thing that tend to decrease with the hierarchy. the more you go up the less flexibility is required. So the lower level have to adapt and cope, and be flexible.

But curiously when is the employee that ask in exchange a little flexibility this is denied. so is goof to ask you to work on saturday without pay, but don’t dare to ask a day or some hours to go to a funeral (I’ve seen this as well, alas).

Trust

Trust is a bidirectional thing, you can’t trust someone who does not trust you. at some extent it can be understandable that the company take precautions but it can’t, at the same time, think you have to trust back. If you feel you’re not trusted you will not trust them, as simply as at. Tustin company components is hard, but bad managers and HR usually are in the Top Chart.

So Do not ask me if I’m sending CV away, I do not trust you will understand.

… and so on

 

Every one of those aspect, per se, can be managed, but usually they comes all together (or at least most of them), because they are all sign of a bad management attitude in the company. Good managers can mitigate this, this is usually exacerbated by bad managers that add their incompetence to the company environment.

 

 

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The rightful way to make an employee unhappy was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

Pavia – Shenzhen 4:I think what I need here is a surviving guide


I think what I need here is a surviving guide :)

I have had the chance to talk with some western colleagues, apparently we share, more or less, the same difficulties.

Language Barriers

Let be clear, if you want to take shenzhen metro, well it is a piece of cake, all indications are in chinese and english, the train are modern as the stations. Every stop is clearly described on the train (and announced in both languages) so it is a great way to travel here.

The things get differents when you need a cab.

you have to wait on the street hoping to find a free taxi running, then you try to call it somehow (being italian make me easy to work with gestures, lol). and beware of the color, not all taxi can go everywhere, so if you are a little far form the centre may be you find red and green ones. not all can drive you where you want or need.

And once you are in… welcome language barrier. trying to explain where you need to go is not easy, so better you write or print the direction, i have my hotel business card always with me, just to be sure I can show him the direction.

I have not found any cab driver able to talk in english as of now.

Alas if you plan to use your google translator here, you could have problems, golden firewall blocks google tools.

surviving tips:

1) download an offline maps for your phone, will be useful.

2) if you plan to stay here a bit, and you want to connect using a 4g\3g network i suggest you to buy a sim in Hong Kong, there are plans without roaming from china, with 6 and more gb\month and it is outside the golden firewall, that means you can easily have all your tools working.

3) download a vpn software before being here if you plan to use a local sim or some roaming (but is so expensive, would you really like to go on roaming?)

4) if you buy a phone here, be aware that chinese android version is different, it does not run some google key engine so some apps could not work, eventually you can install a new rom (in some shops they do it for foreign people)

I am still struggling to find a decent translator. The hardest point is being able to translate written text of course. I have this issue also at work, chinese love to send communication with graphics instead plain text. Visually nice sure, but hard to deal if you are not a chinese speaker.

Food is great

I love chinese food, but you should be aware of some things:

They do not use to drink at lunch or dinner, beside some tea. And the water is usually warm, a sort of very light lemonade i think. if you want cold water or even cold beer you should ask for it. Do not give for granted that they bring cold beer if you ask one.

And do not give for granted the have cold drinks at all.

As in hotel even if they have a fridge it is probably empty and disconnected.

(now mine has some bottles of water and a beer, lol)

Food is generally cheap here and of good quality, if you plan to eat western style you have to spend a little more, but usually you can eat under 200 yuan.

Well I cannot guarantee for the quality of western food, i tried Pizza Hut and I was quite disappointed. But I have seen also a lot of KFC here and some Starbucks. I have had coffee at starbucks and was good, but not sure it was because of quality or because I were missing coffee so much :)

You should also be aware that chinese way at restaurants is different:

restaurants are usually loud, people talk normally.

Chinese food is shared, they bring you several different things, and all people take with the chopsticks. they usually leave bones and stuffs on table, spitting directly on the table. You have to be used to this, can be a little strange at the beginning.

 

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Pavia – Shenzhen 4:I think what I need here is a surviving guide was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine