Corporate Executives…loosing grip on reality, whilst their employees reach breaking point

Having survived another gruelling week in the corporate cluster and never ending demands (some with good merit and others just dwindling the shareholder returns)….led me to a pretty harsh…. not to mention heart breaking reality, as I spoke to colleagues from different divisions, states and countries, chasing work at the wrath of unrealistic Executives. The disturbing part was that tempers were flared, and any hope of politeness was overpowered by anger and resentment, as they belted out …..”I’m literally about to have a nervous breakdown”……”I’ve been working 18 hour days”…..”I can’t do this anymore”…..”I’m burnt out”……simply heart breaking.

Their despair made me question, why are these Corporate Executives doing this to their employees? The answer came pretty quickly….because they do not live in the real world. Think about it….they live on excessive salaries, at the shareholder’s expense, get chauffeured around, stay in 5 star hotels, fly first or business class, the list goes on. How could they possibly understand the realities of the middle to low class society, whose lives are becoming tougher and tougher as they struggle to put food on the table, pay the bills and god forbid spend any (forget quality) time with their children or families?

So who gave Corporate Executives the right to play Russian roulette with people’s lives? What is it going to take to realise that unless they put the brakes on, we are going to see more and more stress claims as a result of anxiety and depression. Why isn’t our government stepping in? After all it’s in their best interest for a happy and healthy workforce without excessive sick leave claims. What’s the point of legislation, safe work practices, etc. when Corporate Executives override the law with their own laws of ‘put up and shut up’…or there’s the door. Until the next sucker comes along, burns out, and the vicious cycle repeats itself over and over again.

It’s time for employees to put matters into their own hands, rather than rely on Corporate Executives and/or our governments to save us from breaking point. We need to step in and assert some boundaries. You can say no to your boss to working crazy hours and you can say I need to leave at a reasonable hour and by reasonable I mean by 5.00pm most days. Don’t allow yourself to be at the mercy of this selfish high class, whilst you bust your gut each and every day to attain this so called perfection, through unrealistic deadlines and scarce resources, all the while feeling like you are letting them down or even worse feeling like you are a failure as a result of their unrealistic expectations to begin with.

You need to boost your confidence. By boosting your confidence to speak up, you will be better placed to find a happy medium for both parties concerned. As for our Corporate Executives, whilst I can appreciate, and trust me, most of us are pretty clear on the fact that you need to make a profit to be viable, have mercy on your workforce by being clear, transparent and accountable for your actions/inactions. You need to stop abusing and burning out your employees as it is not sustainable to keep going at a 100 miles an hour….eventually the engine will give up! There must be a balance.

Employee absenteeism – a wake-up call to management not doing their job

I was somewhat perplexed by the recent announcement in the West Australian about employee absenteeism set to cost Australia billions of dollars over the holiday season.  Once again failing to differentiate between employee entitlements by bullying the workforce into submission to fight over what is rightfully theirs under The Fairwork Act.  Sure there are those who take it too far when it comes to their sick leave and one could equally argue that employers bullying in the workforce is costing exorbitant amounts of dollars, but going back to employee entitlements, full-time employees are entitled to 10 days carers leave and employers need to be prepared by factoring this into their workforce planning.

But who are we kidding?  Lets get to the real issue of why Australia has such a high record of employee absenteeism.  Firstly, its poor treatment of staff.  Most people if treated fairly are less likely to chuck the so called sickies.  The other problem is that management fails to do their job in performance managing or genuinely investigating the circumstances of those who do take prolonged amounts of sick leave which is a clear disregard to their responsibility.

Sure each and every one of us has a responsibility to be respectful and honest about their circumstances but I would argue that employers have more influence over their employees and should take an active role in treating their staff respectfully/fairly and performance managing their staff on a regular basis.  Whether to address an issue or to commend a job well done.

Management needs to wake up and realise it is not sustainable to have one rule for management and another for the rest of the organisation.  Imposing such rules has harsh consequences which only corrupts and breeds a disengaged workforce, in turn costing billions of dollars in lost productivity due to lack of staff engagement.  It’s time for employers to get real and walk their talk by being respectful and honest to their employees by being clear, transparent and accountable.  Those organisations which get these critical attributes right will never have to worry about an employee being misleading or dishonest about their sick leave.