When there is not a visible ongoing commitment by top management to a pro-active work environment or when there is a partial breakdown of the key elements necessary for such an environment to thrive, employees often become frustrated and/or angry with management. In other words, individual employees’ needs and/or their employment needs are neither being met nor acknowledged by management. Sources for such frustration and/or anger include:
- Insecurity about the job.
- Witnessing or receiving unfair of unequal treatment, particularly in the handling of discipline and performance appraisals.
- Wages and benefits below area or industry standards; wages not keeping up with the cost of living; and/or merit increases not being given on a timely or equitable basis.
- Management ignoring grievances and/or handling complaints poorly.
- Management disregarding experience or seniority.
- Absence of clearly defined duties and responsibilities.
- Uncertainty due to lack of written policies and procedures.
- Lack of individual recognition or appreciation.
- Lack of meaningful communication with supervisors and managers.
- No sense of belonging or identity with the company.
- Management indifferences toward employees.
Once the sources of employee frustration and/or anger are identified, a pro-active strategy to respond is critical to achieve the sought after positive work environment. As mentioned in Part Thirteen of this series, involvement systems through employee focus groups and/or continuous improvement teams is often a successful starting point in rebuilding trust through solving the sources of discontent. These involvement processes allow employees to be stakeholders in reaching solutions to their problems.
In addition to the ideas discussed above, creating a pro-active work environment should also include the components to be discussed in upcoming blogs as part of a comprehensive strategy.