How to tell when your job no longer wants you

“We Can do it!" poster commissioned by Westinghouse, by artist J. Howard Miller for the War Production Coordinating committee. Pictured Geraldine Doyle (1924-2010) at age 17.

“We Can do it!” poster commissioned by Westinghouse, by artist J. Howard Miller for the War Production Coordinating committee. Pictured Geraldine Doyle (1924-2010) at age 17.  Are the glory days of the American workplace over?

I read an interesting tidbit about the workplace recently; interesting because it painted what I thought was an accurate depiction of life on the job (a part of it, at least) rather than the usual one of “sassy loves sue and everybody loves sassy”.  I’m reminded that the job is a place where many of us will spend a good majority of our active lives.

And since we’re there so much, it would be a blessing if we could all say, with assurance, that the environment where we work is a wholesome and supportive one; one where communication flows freely and people are given ample opportunity to excel or fail, air grievances or leave, as they deem necessary and a place where their work is recognized and appreciated.

Oh well, one of the first lessons I learned in life is that blessings are cherished because they are so few.    

Since the last recession, even if jobs have weathered the storm and are again showing in the black, there’s no guarantee that the influx of cash will translate into a monetary increase for employees, especially those in the service areas, regardless of what strides or improvements he or she makes for the company.

Stress: The Elephant in the Boardroom

We read about jobs retaliating against their employees for staging unfair wage protests but what about those who come to work daily and still find themselves at odds with management, for some reason or another?  In this atmosphere of at-will employment, it’s better for employers if an employee resigns instead of being terminated and then able to draw unemployment compensation benefits or seek other action.  Sometimes, some dubious tactics are implemented in their attempts to push someone out the door.  I listed 5 examples here.

  1. Passing you by for promotion – the military does it in an attempt to send someone a message; the message being, get out while you still can! Bottom line, if your grades are all in order but you’re continually passed by for advancement then your job is telling you something.
  2. Pay scale below national or local average – If you’ve garnered good evaluations and all of your assignments and goals are completed in a timely manner and yet you’re paid at a rate below the average then your employer is sending you a message. It reads this is as good as it gets!
  3. Receive little assistance or support from management – Support can be in the form of material assistance, as in a needed, additional person or emotional support, as in counseling. If you’re getting neither then it’s time to face the fact that your boss might not care and you’re on your own.
  4. An unreasonable workload – When everything and everyone around you is growing and you remain stagnant then something maybe isn’t quite right. If your department staffing level is less than it was ten years ago but the company has grown more than it was ten years ago then your workload might just be another way of your employer propping the door open for you.
  5. Your employer tells you – “boss-speak” for get out can come in many different verbal forms. The most easily recognizable one is the phrase, “you can resign if you want”.  It flies smack in the face of employee retention and an appreciation of seasoned and skilled workers.

Of course, some jobs will flat out just tell you, in no uncertain terms.

Consider the assistant director of human resources who asked a friend of mine, point blank, why do you stay?  It was a question that threw him for a loop coming in as forthright a manner as it did.  He related to me how he wanted to muster some sort of comeback based on his outrage concerning the perceived disregard of his many years of service but in the end all he could manage was a tepid, soft, “I don’t know”.

No matter, he and I both know why he stays; we’ve talked about it on more than one occasion.  He stays because he wants to win in the situation.  And most times today, winning, in whatever form it takes for a person individually, is all that many employees have left to look forward to.

Link source is EHS Today,  Elephant in the Boardroom: How Depression and Stress in the Workplace are Killing Productivity, Sandy Smith

Next:  So, what is winning?

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Filed under jobs & joblessness, workplace relationships

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