Yesterday I went to a Birthday party, which was more appearing like a corporate relationship building event. Most of the visitors were from mid and senior management in different domains. There I met a guy who was working in a software company and was handling a technical team.
As a typical Indian, I said, “Buddy, only IT employees are happy in this world.”
He just replied “Grass is always greener on another side. I think similar for sales guys.” He sounded very low, being a self-acclaimed psychology expert (actually every salesperson is having this syndrome) I asked him “What is the issue?”.
He looked at me if I was appearing to be alien to him, who doesn’t know the office issues. He said “I and my team are technical and my manager is a management pass-out. He doesn’t know much about technicalities and everything he wants to be done in no time. Moreover, whenever we try to outperform and meet the goal, he never appraise us in front of seniors, which demotivates me and the team a lot. I am just one grade lower than him and he is so insecure that he thinks I will replace him if I am not stopped. The differential on technical points can be adjusted but his insecurity is making my life hell.”
Insecurity is very natural human fear when they hold something good to lose. A manager, preferably called as “Boss” by subordinates, has many things to lose. Future promotion, salary hike, reputation and more importantly his current position. The market has become very dynamic and so is the workplace. Companies need more result oriented managers on leader desk. Emotion at the workplace has been replaced with professionalism, which can be proven right with many logics.
So what happens actually! Even if the manager is doing his duty honestly and effectively, he will face a challenge with outperforming subordinate, and when the grade difference is just minor then this threat of the subordinate will replace the manager, becomes big. This case for manager turns pathetic when he sees the threat in an even bigger frame and not able to use the subordinate’s skill in his favor. In the cases where Managers are not right skilled, the situation is worse.
This insecurity of managers creates negative waves in the team and demotivation of an employee is a common thing. Demotivated employees are least productive and good employees are destined to leave the organization if the situation is not improved. Managers are also least productive as most of their energy will be wasted in protecting themselves.
The remedy of this situation is a bit tricky as both the side is badly affected by this and no one would like to step back in fear of giving room to other. For employees, the best solution is within organization networking, which is really tough but the best thing to do. It does not only help in making multichannel self-promotion but also creates a stronghold in the industry as whenever your network moves outside you get new opportunities. For Managers, developing leadership skill is the best thing. You should be able to showcase your team’s work as a collective effort. It will help in motivating team, delivering result and standing tall.
There is no foolproof method to control this but management should be vigilant enough to monitor things closely. I personally have seen many organization are following very practical appraisal method which is done monthly/quarterly and more system dependent judgment which replaces Boss’s judgment only method. High engagement methods from HR persons are somehow very effective, yet many things to be improved in overall scenario. Moreover, it needs up-gradation at the individual level.