Well being at work

2014-07-31 13:10

If you manage people then to a certain degree you are responsible for their well-being. I am all for accountability, responsibility and emotional independence but the number of stress related illnesses and deaths within the young generation is something that has moved me. I have seen witnessed unborn children being lost due to hostile managers. People do not leave organisations but they leave managers. Probably some would perceive the area of management and leadership to be an area that is greater than myself but there is no age requirement in treating people well. We all grew up to this statement management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. What is the right thing in a society where everyone has their own interest at heart? Where everyone is so desperate of getting recognition irrespective of the cost involved

I would like to believe that management is all about encouraging and motivating people to achieve a common goal. I would like to believe that managers have a huge role to play in enhancing positive employee well being.  I have nothing against managers with strong technical competencies, what I do have a problem with is managers who dis-engage with their people and remove the human element within them. These are the kind of managers who would talk task and deadlines all the time. Some of them even brag about being too technical and not being good with people. I am all for people identifying their weaknesses and strengths but against the concept of them being used to justify wrong doing. Personally I refer to these so called weaknesses areas of development because the fact that I am aware of them grants me with the opportunity to change and improve.

Managers are not super heroes yes. Again I am all for accountability and responsibility. The technology generation should not breed tech prisoners in the workplace. I have seen organisations that generously offer laptops, tablets and cell phones which is all and good but managers need to keep in mind the main purpose of those gadgets, they are not meant for 24/7 communication but are there to add value where communication is concerned.  When I hear of a managers sending sms’s or WhatsApp messages at night I cannot help but think “how rude”! firstly each person works a certain number of hours a day depending on their role. Employees need to learn to protect themselves from mental and physical strain.

A friend of mine once shared an interesting analogy to life. He imagined life as a game in which he was juggling five balls in the air, namely work, family, health, friends and spirit. Having to keep all of these balls in the air, he realised that work was a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. This is the kind of sensitivity that is involved when managing people and needs to be handled with care.

Having worked at such a young age has made me realise that bullying isn't only restricted to the playground; it appears to be on the rise in offices too. People bully each other to fulfil certain needs. A person has only so much control over their working environment and can only do so much. Certain conditions have the potential of causing harmful stresses. Despite all the courses that managers go to and all the conferences, we still find some managers with behaviours that destroy other people. Managers are human too, and they cannot smell things. Any relationship is a two way stream therefore good communication is key.  My wish is to see more justice and kindness in the workplace.

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