Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do you work for an Asshole?

We talk endlessly about the importance of recognition and rewards and their relationship to employee engagement, but this morning I came across what I think is one of the most succinct summations of the issue in plain language that I’ve ever read.
It’s on Dan Erwin’s excellent blog on career development and it’s a quote from Robert Sutton’s book The No Asshole Rule.
All this talk about passion, commitment, and identification with an organization is absolutely correct if you are in a good job and are treated with dignity and respect. But it is hypocritical nonsense to the millions of people who are trapped in jobs and companies where they feel oppressed and humiliated--where their goal is to survive with their health and self-esteem intact and provide for their families, not to do things for a company that treats them like dirt.
So yes, in a perfect world it would be great if we all worked for companies that were committed to the idea of treating employees as valuable human beings instead of just expendable human resources. A lot of the time, however, we get stuck working for (and with) managers and executives and coworkers who make our work lives miserable. Erwin’s blog post talks specifically about the hell of working for a narcissist along with some techniques for surviving. Check out the rest of his blog while you are there. It’s like an oasis of sanity in what often feels like a sandstorm of bullshit!

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