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Things that scare me at the office

Things that scare me at the office

Some workplace practices are scary as this guy.

When I was in high school I volunteered at a haunted house to raise money for charity. It was so much fun wearing platform shoes, a black cape and hood with chains around my neck.  The combination of face make-up and my black costume with chains, I was one very scary creature.  Tucked away in a dark corner, nerve-racked visitors unknowingly walked within inches of me. Then I would jump out and scare the living daylights out of most people. There were times I thought we should have paramedics there for potential heart attacks or seizures.

Although the workplace should not resemble a haunted house, there are a some very scary practices that occur in the office that send chills up my spine. Here is my list of scary office practices:

  • Meetings – Meetings are usually a waste of everyone’s time. Not all meetings, but most are like being in the Twilight Zone.
  • All Hands Meetings – When companies only utilize all hands meetings to discuss bad news.
  • Brown-nosing – A culture that allows the general practice of brown-nosing, kissing-up, or flagrantly massaging the egos of his/her bosses to gain favor. Imagine the deviants your culture will attract if brown-nosing is an expected practice.
  • High Turnover – People don’t leave a great workplace unless there is a very good reason.  Just like smart or conscious people run out of a haunted house, there is a reason people are running from your company.
  • No Exit Interviews – When management does not consider the information from a departing employee to be important, I wonder if there is blood in the leadership’s veins. Either you have real big problems, or you simply have some minor human relations tweaks to be made here and there. Don’t you want to know?
  • Lay-offs – Companies that expel their “most important assets” – employees – is a very frightening practice. Especially when leaders have not tried to find other areas to cut expenses, including the executive budget.
  • Never Having Fun – A company that does not know how to have fun is like working in a funeral home. I’ve never worked in a funeral home but it doesn’t seem like a fun place to work.

What are some scary workplace practices that you have experienced or observed?

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

1 Comment

  1. WIlliam Emerson 5 years ago

    One thing that scares me in the office is the dangling carrot…. Every time someone presents me with a challenge to over achieve at my job so that “we” can reach our “team’s” projected numbers, I find it is only a matter of time after making good on my promise that our goals for commissionable dollars are increased.
    And although I haven’t seen so much of that with my current company than others in past experiances, I know it can still happen.
    But the biggest thing that scared me lately – rather knocked the wind right out of me -, was uncovering theft on commissionable sales between senior account executives and fellow inside sales reps.
    Being in sales my entire career I believe I have developed a pretty good “B-S” metter allowing me to see people more clearly than they think I do. Or so I thought.
    Soon after I began my work in my current position I was informed numerous times to keep a close eye on what business I entered into my sales pipeline. Not sure how to take that comment, I disreguarded the advice and went about my merry way. Just this past week, 9 months later and through my own audit, I have uncovered that 60% of opportunities for new business that I had created which were labeled closed/lost deals were in fact not lost but rather won. This was done by manipulating our CRM in such a way where the records (with my name attached) were deleted then recreated (under another ISR’s name) then passed up to other outside sales reps (all three are siblings to each other) who then were able to close the deals and earn the commissionable dollars.

    I had my suspisions about this but wasn’t able bring it to my boss as I had no direct evidence to prove any of this. So after hours and hours of looking through our CRM I uncovered exactly how they were able to do this… which is where I find myself now… Everything in my gut tells me to scream to high heaven! But I have to wonder if that warning I was given before, was it to protect me or to advise me that this is just the common practice here and that I better go along to get along.

    But that begs an even bigger question if that was good advise than obviously there had to have been previous knowledge of this kind of unethical “business as ussual” behavior. Which makes me very warry of taking this up the proper channels. My gut says to go right to the top with this new found proof but would that C-Level executive really take my word over that of their most successful seasoned sales reps? And if action was taken and the negative impact it can have on the rest of th year’s pipeline I have to also wonder which decision would impact his level of responsibility less. Because ultimately they would have to choose the lessor of two evils. Pull back the curtain revealing the monster and lose revenue or keep the monster hidden and ignore the blatent (although cleverly hidden) theft on commissionable dollars?

    The irony here is that even with the loss of 60% of the opportunities taken out of my pipeline and going into someone else’s pocket I still have managed to lead my team in commissionable dollars. How I only wish I had that other 60% back. Either way I’ve started looking around at those companies seeking sales reps. And not to pour gasoline on an already out of control emotional fire, but it wasn’t more than a month ago where I was saying to friends “yeah I love where I work, of course you have to really buy into the work enviornment to be successful there.” I don’t think I’ve ever been so right about a statement when what I ment was something else entirely.

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