Human Beings in the Workplace

by Krishna on April 2, 2007

One of the major sources of conflicts in the workplace between managers and employees is because each side does not see the other side as human beings who have failings and can make mistakes. Although there are bad managers and employees, the majority of people in most companies are just trying to do their best for the organization. But unfortunately, people just don’t give others the benefit of the doubt.

Here are some common mistakes that managers make:

  • Employees are not robots: They are not machines who can work with full efficiency throughout the day. They suffer fatigue. Sometimes, they come to work even while ill so that they don’t suffer loss of pay or holiday time.
  • People don’t leave their personal life at the office door: People cannot just turn off their minds about the happenings in their personal life when they enter the building.
  • There are other important things in life too: While your product may be the greatest thing ever invented, your employees may be more concerned about things that matter to them, especially their family.

Managers frequently assume that when an employee is not bursting with passion, they don’t have the necessary commitment. Sometimes they think that it is a compensation or HR problem. That may not be the case.

What about employees? Here are some of their mistakes:

  • Managers are not robots: Was that surprising? Yes, managers are not machines without any feelings. They are happy if they receive cooperation and empathy. They feel bad when they are forced to do everything themselves.
  • Managers are also trying to do their jobs: Managers have their responsibilities, deadlines and deliverables. Every manager is always a little jumpy, worried if they can meet their targets and satisfy their bosses.
  • Managers are under pressure: Many employees attribute any fault of the manager to wickedness or stupidity. The fact is that most managers miss certain duties or take the wrong path because of pressure and stress.

A lot of these problems can go away if each side opens up to the other and builds up trust. Then each can explain what their needs and limitations are and with that knowledge, work towards common goals.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a joint effort. Sometimes, there is a circle of mistrust that can be broken if even one side (a manager or an employee) decides to put their ego aside and extend their hand of understanding and co-operation.


Marie April 3, 2007 at 1:33 am

You are right about that. We just fail to cosider each side and try to understand. Eventhough we try to explain the source of our problems, there are still people who think it's only an excuse.

Archie April 3, 2007 at 3:39 am

You are absolutely true, I just want to add that, In such kind of scenario HR should come into picture and act as a bridge, they should enforce the work-life balance amongst all the employees be it a manager or a normal employee.
But again how many HR's realize the importance of this and act?

Guru April 3, 2007 at 3:54 am

I'd like to quote a statement from 'Art of War', which I feel every manager should keep in mind.

"Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose."

Krishna Kumar April 3, 2007 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for your comments, Marie, Archie and Guru. It is important that managers take the lead in building up rapport and establish communication with their employees so that there is greater understanding.

Charlie April 3, 2007 at 6:49 pm

I think that the act of consideration and understanding is a general rule in forgiving each other. We know that it's a mistake to miss or forget something we promised to do, and we are need consideration and understanding for this poor performance, especially if there are reasons.

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