Friday, February 01, 2008

The art of man-management

Is there anything so crushingly de-motivating as being made to re-write your self-appraisal because you were insufficiently negative in your first effort? It's rather reminiscent of the self-criticism meetings that the Chinese were so fond of in the Cultural Revolution.
"For the record, I would like you all, comrades, to know that I am a saboteur in the Great People's Firm, wilfully ignoring typographical errors; maliciously leaving the office without checking with all the occupants that they have no more work for me to do, regardless of the hour; all this I did laughing at the knowledge of the damage I was doing to the Great Helmsman."
There are times over the last few months that I have thought I might be a slightly round peg in a very round hole. It's becoming clear that the hole is not just merely a different shape, but on a different planet. Gissa job anyone?

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2 Comments:

Blogger John East said...

Crushing demotivation seems to be an established management tool these days.
I remember, when I joined industry in the mid 70's, when nobody had heard the phrase team spirit, it was a natural part of the job. We even went to the pub every Friday as a group.
When I eventually retired a few years ago, all vestiges of team spirit had been destroyed. It would take too long to go into all the reasons this happened, but one was the self assessment system - Two days preparation followed by 3-4 hour nightmare personal interview in which each team member had to be graded A to E. There's nothing wrong with accountability, but management stipulated that every team had to have 10% graded "A" and 10% graded "E". The E's were formally notified that they faced dissmissal in 12 months unless their rating improved. Imagine what this system did for team spirit and co-operation within the teams.
The final straw, and one of the reasons I decided I'd had enough, was when senior management announced that team spirit needed boosting and that we would be sent on team building courses.

9:41 am  
Blogger Laban said...

The current system, with self-assessment, 360 degree feedback and all that nonsense, produces pretty much the same results as when the boss called you in every six months and said good/mediocre/abysmal. The same amount of cash is floating about for wages, the same problems of dividing it. And those with blue eyes still doing better - as they will under any system involving hierarchy and human beings.

But now people waste hours and days upon this. One of the great glories of being self-employed is that my feedback comes in the form of an offer of work or acceptance of my suggestion that the daily rate needs an increase.

10:15 pm  

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