Workplace Issues

Workplace Issues

Workplace Issues Jonathan Poland

Workplace issues can negatively impact employee satisfaction and organizational performance. These issues often arise from cultural and systemic problems, and can sometimes originate from upper management. They can be difficult to address and may require a comprehensive approach to resolve.

Authoritarianism is the use of artifacts from authority such as rules, processes and procedures to establish a sense of personal power over others. This can occur where an employee has no actual authority themselves.

Biases are repeated failures of logic. For example, making assumptions about someone because of identity factors such as their age.

Groupthink is an environment where people can’t speak candidly without being penalized by a group for failing to comply with a dogmatic group opinion or ideology.

Failure of imagination is the incorrect assumption that the future will resemble the past. For example, marketing myopia whereby a firm continually optimizes what has worked in the past while ignoring large scale change to their industry.

Knowledge waste is a situation where an organization produces knowledge that it doesn’t use. For example, a team or entire division devoted to creating documents that nobody actually reads or acts upon.

Tone at the top is poor behavior by upper management that encourages poor behavior at every level of a firm.

Malicious compliance is the use of an organization’s own processes, policies, procedures and projects against it. For example, a customer service representative that uses a well-intentioned security policy to antagonize customers and enjoy a sense of power.

Mediocrity is a situation where individuals do the minimum required not to be fired such that they have no concern for actual results. Such individuals may actively work against any strategy that will cause them work or inconvenience. The mediocre also fear talent, risk taking and change and may work to suppress these elements. For example, a manager who works to undermine talent on their own team for fear of competition.

Mismanagement is a failure to direct and control resources in a diligent way.

Negative selection, in the context of employment, is a situation where talented employees quit with time and low performing employees cling to their jobs. This occurs in any firm with poor working conditions as talented employees have more opportunity and therefore have less incentive to tolerate a bleak job.

Reactance is a human tendency to react against restrictions on freedom. For example, employees that become hostile to a firm due to excessive monitoring.

Trained incapacity is an inability to see beyond the way things have been done in the past.

Here are some more examples of workplace issues.

  • Absenteeism
  • Authoritarianism
  • Biases
  • Broken Processes
  • Broken Systems
  • Change Fatigue
  • Communication Failure
  • Complaining & Defeatism
  • Compliance to Laws & Regulations
  • Cronyism
  • Discrimination
  • Disorganization & Chaos
  • Emotional Responses to Criticism
  • Employee Privacy
  • Excessive Overtime
  • Failure of Imagination
  • Failure to Manage Expectations
  • Financial Mismanagement
  • Gossip
  • Groupthink
  • Harassment
  • Health Hazards
  • Hostility Between Teams / Partners
  • Hostility Towards Customers
  • Human Rights Violations
  • Hygiene Factors
  • Ideology & Politics at Work
  • Incompetence
  • Interpersonal Conflict
  • Knowledge Waste
  • Lack of Accountability
  • Lack of Civility
  • Lack of Confidence in Management
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Lack of Training
  • Lack of Transparency
  • Lack of Trust
  • Lack of Values & Principles
  • Lateness
  • Low Engagement
  • Low Performance
  • Low Productivity
  • Malicious Compliance
  • Mediocrity
  • Misinformation
  • Mismanagement
  • Negative Politics
  • Negative Selection
  • Negative Work Culture
  • Passive Aggressive Behavior
  • Poor Ethics
  • Poor Management
  • Reactance
  • Red Tape
  • Resistance to Change
  • Sabotage
  • Safety Hazards
  • Slacking
  • Tone at the Top
  • Trained Incapacity
  • Unclear Responsibilities
  • Unfair Criticism
  • Unusable Systems
  • Workplace Bullying
  • Yes People
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