Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three Kinds of Crazy - Which Workplace?

The way I see it, there are three kinds of corporate workplaces:

Modern & Young Orientated - ( or as I call it Gen-Y cruisey smoochy-woo )

This is your sneakers, too cool for school workplace - super fun to begin with, super hard to be a boss!  Or god forbid an owner - the more you give, the more you are taken taken taken.  Phrases like 'what's in it for me', and "but I'm on lunch!' and 'gosh I hope we go somewhere better for the Christmas party than last year!'.  Workers often deign to turn up, and are genuinely surprised when expected to turn up on time and put in a full days work - all whilst bemoaning the lack of Facebook access at their desk.

Old Fashioned, 1970's Chic
Get to your desk, do your job, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  You are expected to mind your Ps & Qs, your boss can get angry at you and perhaps even yell and it is considered normal.  Pay reviews occur as the GM deems necessary, which is as little as possible, and you are made to feel every single day that you don't work hard enough, and you should be extremely grateful that you have a job at all.
Yes, I have worked in one of these.  Most employees and the management team are on the same track - success at work, and a reasonable work/life balance.  Mistakes are unavoidable, but examined as they occur and consequences generally match the original output.  HR exists but isn't used as a beating board, but as a valuable function of the business.  People work hard, and occasionally get a fun reward.  Reviews are conducted yearly but pay increases aren't expected but worked hard to get, and negotiated for.
Why I am writing this?
The Benchmark Workplace used to be the norm - and now more and more of my contemporaries are trying valiantly to work in the first 2 discussed - and are bewildered, frustrated and sad.  And it goes hand in hand with much of the bewilderment we all feel about many things.
What can we do ?
Those of us with influence, with a voice, who aren't afraid need to be braver,stronger, and refuse to be lured by the sometimes higher, seemingly 'easier' money of the Gen Y Workplace, refuse to bow to the Old Fashioned Workplace, and CREATE the Benchmark Workplace that was becoming so prevalent in the 1980's and 1990's.  Have a voice, have an opinion, vote with your feet, and if you are a boss, be a role model, even if it is hard.  Especially because it is hard.
Peace out.

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