Yesterday Jim stopped by my office for a visit. We've been friends for over thirty years. During those years Jim has built a career as a senior manager for one of the nation's largest utilities. He told me about their decision to begin an incentive pay model for non-management employees. I thought, "Great, I want to hear more about this!"
But as Jim continued, I learned that things weren't all pink lilacs at the utility. Some of the union workers were bucking at the idea that they could actually be paid more money simply by being more courteous and conscientious. As a matter of fact, one fellow had gotten into Jim's faced and announced, "I don't have to do this!"
"No," Jim thought, "and you don't have to work here either."
In today's unpredictable job climate it seems logical to me that everyone would be pulling his or her weight-and a little extra. Besides, what would happen if employees simply decided to be polite and congenial? Wouldn't that reduce overall stress and make the workday seem shorter? But, some of you probably don't agree with me. You may identify more with Jim's disgruntled employee. So for those of you of that persuasion, below I respectfully submit a checklist that may relieve you of the painful process of having to get out of bed, brush your teeth, and go to work in the morning. These are six things you can do to ensure more time catching up on day time TV.
Look bored. Let everyone know that you were much happier at a previous job, and that this one doesn't challenge you.
Dress for failure. Figure out what the boss wants you to wear. (Hint: Frequently this can be found in that employee's manual you threw in the back of your truck.) Then, wear something else. This is especially effective when you redefine words like "dress slacks" to include designer jeans. Then, make it a point to flaunt your new wardrobe in front of your employer with an "I dare you to do anything about it" look.
Fall in "love" on the job. One of the fastest ways to disrupt a workplace is for employees to start dating other employees. Nope, I'm saying never. But I am waving a big red flag. If you do decide that Cupid's arrow has hit someone with whom you punch the same clock-keep it private and away from the workplace.
Be readily available to share your negatives attitudes with others. This is something your boss will really cherish. If there's anything he likes better than having you unhappy-it's having you spread your "constructive criticisms" with everyone else.
Confuse being goal-oriented (a good thing) with being career-oriented (often a bad thing.) Communicate that this is only a temporary layover on your flight plan to the career that is worthy of your talents. Not only will this make your present employer feel unappreciated, it will really tick-off your co-workers. Done correctly, this little technique may help inspire the other workers to speak to the head office on your behalf-suggesting that you are correct, and another job (anywhere but here) would be a better fit for you.
When you ask for more money base the request on your needs rather than on the benefits you bring to the company. After all, this company isn't here to build a product and make a profit. It is here to be sure that you have enough money to install a TV dish, furnish the den, and upgrade your ski trip next winter. By the way, you can add a steroid punch to this by also telling your boss that he's cheap compared to what other companies are paying.
Steve Diggs is an international speaker, broadcaster, and a writer who can be reached at www.SteveDiggs.com