It is very difficult for a job applicant to judge a prospective employer for adhering to ethical standards and providing a positive working environment. Especially, since, an interview, most questions are being asked by the future employer.
This article lists the two extreme types, at opposite ends of the psychological scale, with most superiors and bosses placed somewhere between. Like in most facets of life, nobody is entirely bad or good – most are somewhere within this range.
THE BENEVOLENT EMPLOYER.
There is a group of bosses who assume a fatherly and benevolent position towards those who work for them. Work is fairly distributed and the boss himself does not mind pitching-in and helping out. The tempo of work is guided by his own good example, as is quality, and the general prevalent mood in the workplace is positive and conducive to progress.
Should there be a sudden over-demand or a surge of workload, this employer will recognise it and take steps that nobody overworks and that the workload is evenly and fairly distributed, with additional helpers engaged plus the boss himself sharing some extra duty.
His temper is very even, conveying reassuring calmness that uplifts everybody working around him. He has no sanctuary that is off-limits to employees and his own office or workplace would not be distinguishable from that of his co-workers.
He is genuinely concerned for his staff and workers and, should some body be ill, the pay cheque gets delivered home punctually and regardless of the length of illness. In one case, I know of personally, an employee had a heart-bypass operation with a lengthy stay in hospital and the boss himself called on the wife regularly with the pay and enquired whether she would need anything else done around her house.
For the duration of this employee’s sick-leave, his boss worked on the shop floor in person, mingling with the other employees and being practically indistinguishable in work and manners from anybody else.
All this is done with the before-mentioned even temper and an air of teamwork.
When this employee finally returned from his long sick leave, he resumed his position with ease, whilst the boss returned into his office to resume the task of running his business. Little weaknesses and transgressions are overlooked or, at it’s worst, the person is reprimanded a day later in a fatherly fashion.
Somehow, these type of bosses do not seem to have the misfortune of employing a bad worker as they either instinctively select the right person or simply lead with positivism and good example.
Swearing and filthy talk is not allowed to protect young employees.
There is a noticeable absence of fear or working-anxiety as each employee knows that he or she is a member of a smooth-running team!
This type of person is basing the smooth-running of his business on fear. The demeanour is reserved to the point of haughtiness, his appearance is impeccable, his voice is artificially low and stentorian. He has an on-stage personality, geared to impress. His common phrases are peppered with ‘however’, ‘furthermore’, ‘if you only knew what we know!’ ‘I thought of that!’ is the common reply to valuable suggestions put forward by a willing employee and only deflating him. Reports by employees are interrupted with: ‘I know exactly what you want to say!’ or a ‘We know all about that!’ are uttered with a reprimanding stare making the reporting person ill at ease.
When real problems arise, he would give the harbinger of bad news a penetrating look and bark: ’I thought that has been taken care of!’ A nonsense statement making everybody in the room feel guilty without reason.
When in a difficult situation, he has the habit of staring straight ahead, at a spot on the opposite wall as if in deep concentration and utters words like: ‘that is not on!’ ‘No, we don’t do that!’ instilling fear and intimidation in everybody.
Without the presence of the fear factor, he believes, an organisation has no incentive to work efficiently and to achieve things for him. He feels, he must constantly instil this anxiety by destabilising people around him!
For example, when conversing with people who speak fast and have a quick mind, he slows down in his speech to the point of unnerving the other person. This is done with the help of slowly uttered phrases like: ‘What I said was……’ when, in fact, he had said nothing before on this particular subject. Therefore, this sentence is invariably followed-up by the biggest lie possible, putting the other person hopelessly in a depressed mood and increasing his fear of working for him.
Alternatively, with people who are taciturn in their speaking manner, he rattles-off his question fast and furiously. By the time this good worker answered one question, he has already asked him two more, throwing that person out of his concentration and ending with stammering and stutter. Upon which this employer leaves with an attitude of total satisfaction of having anxiety and the feeling of inadequacy re-enforced in a worker.
Should such an employer meet with an employee who is not afraid of him or at least an honest worker with a clean conscience, this is unacceptable to him. A situation will then have to be created where this decent worker becomes afraid of something……
In one case, such a good worker received the constant warning: ‘If you make us the slightest trouble……’ Often this tactic is then perpetuated by the top boss’ immediate underlings who then continue to talk to this person in a manner of ‘If you think you can get away with……’
There are other repercussions for honest workers. When it is found out that an employee, for example, studies evenings, he is then considered an open threat. ‘You are wasting your time….’ He or she is then told often.
Alternatively, high achievements are being downgraded with disparaging remarks till such a person feels totally inadequate despite his successes whilst the instilled fear keeps him in excellent performance through extra stress.
We have now dealt with two diametrically opposite type of employers and in subsequent articles more and different bosses and their operations will be illuminated.
By researching the company we are trying to join, a lot of shortcomings are being identified and frustration, hardship and overwork can be avoided.