Working For A Paycheck


When I’ve been an employee, I’ve also expected my employer to pay for my services.  Oddly enough, I have also had the expectation that I should provide a day’s work for a day’s pay.  When I started working some 30+ years ago that was the norm, but it is not something that every employer can count on from their employees automatically anymore.

It is common place for managers all up and down the chain of command to not only set performance expectations but to check to see if work is getting done.  Good coaching and the ability to provide constructive feedback will motivate many employees to work hard, but somewhere along the line it is becoming more the manager’s responsibility to get employees to perform.  If left to their own, too many employees are receiving rather than earning their paycheck each week.

And yet with this change, companies have significantly pulled back on management development.  With untrained managers managing people and processes more chaos is created, and stress creates even more problems in the workplace.  Those that work for their paycheck get hostile with those that don’t work.  Resentment builds and often spills out into over the top behaviors.

One very large corporation learned this lesson the hard way when they had an employee that was just fed up with the work environment and management’s inability to fix things.  This employee came into the workplace one day and shot two of the managers.  This awful event got the attention of senior management who are now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to create better communications between the worker and the manager.  While there is now hope for the future, it saddens me to think two people had to lose their lives, another is on trial for murder and could have been probably avoided if the company had spent the time and money to train better.

Times have changed, and management needs to wake up and smell the coffee.  The employee workforce of 30 years ago is not as prevalent as it once was, but neither are the skills of managers.  With the right focus on organizational development, tragedies like the one mentioned above can be avoided.

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