Office Politics Inside Many Printing Companies: The Way We See It
We all have our ideas about how others should act and perform in our work place. Truth is, we can ALL be critical at times, leading to back-biting and un-civil war. It’s just the way we see it! When business owners and managers participate in office politics, it leads to poor service and production; not to mention, employee turnover.
Anyone part of a workforce for even a short time, runs head-long into Office Politics; whereby, management and employees have a biased set of binoculars for up-close scrutinizing of others! It’s just the way we see it!
As a company that helps small businesses with their organizational frustrations by working closely with owners and their employees, regularly — the following is what WE have seen:
How Employees See the Boss
Often heard echoing through office halls and break-rooms, are employee criticisms regarding the boss’ “lifestyle… habits… hypocrisy… employee favoritism… unfair company policies” … even about the boss’ “wealth.” This is how some employees see it.
How Employees See Themselves
Many employees see themselves as the UN-class — underpaid, unappreciated, unrecognized, and misunderstood. On the other hand, they tend to see themselves as hardworking, faultless in errors, always giving a quality full-day’s work—over all, a good employee.
How the Boss Sees Employees
The boss generally sees employees as mostly unconcerned about the business, except for the paycheck. When employees tend to talk on cell phones to friends or conduct personal business on company time, it only enforces the boss’ perception. Moreover, when unbridled employee small talk distracts other employees from doing their work, what is a boss supposed to think? Amazingly, some employees are offended when confronted about taking too-long on smoke breaks, even as they receive pay for smoking.
God forbid, the boss should get angry about costly, totally avoidable, STUPID mistakes!
How Bosses See Themselves
In most cases, Bosses also see themselves as underpaid, unappreciated, and misunderstood. They realize they have put everything on the line. In some cases, they have mortgaged their home to keep employees paid and the business lights on. They often work very long, stressful hours, trying to keep it altogether. And when they do go home, the weight of business ownership follows them well into the night.
Most importantly, the boss understands they won’t get a paycheck, unless the business makes a profit. And, when a costly error occurs, they are the ones who bear the cost. On the other hand, the employee responsible for the mistake still receives their paycheck. In fact, having to fix the error, the employee is paid twice.
Many business owners don’t have a clue how to get out of that rut. Sadly, they’re afraid to look into even good solutions, thinking it will just add something else to their “plate.”
Bosses, unnecessarily, see themselves bogged down and unable to escape the office without it falling apart. Truth is, there is a remedy for that — I found it in 1993 — it’s still working!
The Way I See the Boss and the Employee!
I have more than 30 years of firsthand knowledge of the pains and pressures of business ownership. Fact is, the boss has much more to gain from an organized, systemized and thriving business. And more to lose when a business fails!
I also know the frustrations of being an employee who wants to do a respectable job in a business where chaos is the norm. I know how such employees can feel.
The Boss as I See It
To be fair, giving full disclosure, I admit I have a bias; granting more leniency toward business owners. Having said that, I acknowledge that business ownership is a CHOICE — and no one needs to feel SORRY for the boss!
A boss is responsible for giving employees the correct tools, training, and the proper amount of time to do a job or process. The boss is also responsible for giving employees a clean and safe working environment. If a boss doesn’t give employees those KEY ingredients, they should NEVER reprimand an employee for doing a less-than-expected job performance.
Correct tools, for example, are well-maintained machinery and a clutter-free work environment, along with well-designed business process systems that ensure service and quality, i.e. quality control checklists. When ALL these tools are in place, employee job performance and morale increase.
Michael Gerber said, in his popular The E-myth book, referring to a Business Owner, “You are the problem, you’ve always been the problem, and you always will be the problem, until you change!” In other words, CHANGE! Now, get off your butt and organize your business; give your employees the tools they need to do their job.
Furthermore, Dr. W. Edwards Deming (Father of the Quality Revolution) said to business leaders, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing!” To put it another way, learn your business, find the holes that cause errors and frustrations, and create a written operation manual for how your business operates. Stop the Chaos in your business! Learn here about non-biased business systems.
The Employee As I See It
Time to grow up — the world doesn’t owe us anything! Quit complaining, and consider how YOU can help to improve the business. The better the business, the more everyone will benefit!
Ask yourself, have YOU ever put everything you’ve owned on the line to start or buy a business? If you will not be part of the solution, I suggest you offer your resignation. Some of you need to quit disrupting and biting the hand that feeds you and your family. Remember, when you took your job, you agreed to sell your labor for a certain fee; no one forced you to work there.
To be fair, if your boss doesn’t show good stewardship, then you have a right to leave, but do it with respect and a proper notice. One day YOU may be a BOSS!
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.