There are so many "truisms" I could share about the Paycheck Plantation but I decided to share the five that sprang to my mind as extremely true no matter what kind of work environment you find yourself in. Without any fanfare, here are five quick things I know to be true about the workplace:
Some people just do not have a good work ethic. This is something that in my opinion has to be taught from a young age. If a person has never been taught (and shown) that you have to work for what you earn, the workplace is not where they are going to pick it up. I remember trying to mentor one young lady who acted like a paycheck was an entitlement just because she showed up every day. Very few companies have the patience to teach someone how to hustle. You either get it or you don't. And the ones that don't… wow! It's painful to have them around. There is just always someone who comes in not wanting to be there, watches the clock all day and leaves without accomplishing much. Every. Single. Day.
Some people live to work, not work to live. On the flip side, for some people – their job is their whole life. It's literally who they are, not what they do. You can't separate one from the other and neither can they. While on one hand, it's admirable that someone is that dedicated; on the other hand it's overwhelming for people who actually want to have lives outside of their 9 – 5. This person usually suggests the 7:00/8:00 am meeting, working through lunch and coming in on Saturday. There is a difference between great work ethic and workaholic.
One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. This is why hiring is integral to an organization. Chemistry is everything. Bringing in one super-negative or super-sloppy or ultra-anal or not-as-talented or over-hyper person in a group without those characteristics is disastrous. Not that everybody needs to have the same work styles, but they have to be complimentary or all hell will break loose. The "bad seed" will bring down one other team member and the dominoes start to fall from there. I've seen it happen too often. There is truth to "work wives" and "work husbands", relationships with the people you spend 40 to 100(!) hours a week with need just as much care as any other.
Some people are only in it for the money. And that's fine. If you are a manager, knowing what motivates your workers is half the battle. Some people love their jobs and the people they work with. They are blessed and rare. Some are just about the paycheck. They don't want all the warm fuzzies, they don't want to bond; they don't want to make friends... they want their check. And they want their check to be bigger than everybody else's. As long as their single-minded pursuit of dollar bills doesn't infringe on your world, live and let live. There is nothing wrong with the paper chase unless you have to be shady to get it.
Not everybody is meant to do everything. God Bless Us Every One. The founder of Wendy's, Dave Thomas once said, "Some folks are better with the fries & Frostys than figures and forecasts." Okay? Not everyone is good with numbers. Not everyone is on their written communication game. Not everybody programs or writes code. And that's okay unless… you are a terrible writer in a communications role. You are terrible with numbers and you're in the accounting department. You're not a people person but you WORK IN HUMAN RESOURCES. [let me breathe in, breathe out, woo-sah] My point is sometimes what people are actually doing is not what they are good at. And until they face that reality (or someone makes them face it), work life is tough for us all. There is something to be said for "career path management."
So that's my list for today. What have you got? I could dedicate a whole post (and I still may) about one other truth – Not everybody who is in a management position knows how manage people effectively. Let BougieLand say Amen.
Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes – so examples of things you know to be true about the workplace? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours.