Boss Cannot Make Everyone Happy

I upset people. Most of the time not intentionally but nonetheless. I try my best not to, but simply being who I am, a boss, I set people off. This, I view, as unavoidable, expected and certainly not unusual in the work environment. This is real life, so suck it up, people.

As a boss (or a human being), I will never try to please everyone because it is impossible.

The other day I needed a small storage space cleaned: office supplies needed to be moved around, shelves dusted, old archived paperwork destroyed, and some other stuff moved around and organized.

Almost all of our employees use this storage for their needs. However, some of them use it more than others. Some of them have more time on their hands.It happens to be that those with the most time on their hands use this storage on a daily basis. So I asked them to clean up the storage, and explained that if they need any help or have questions, let the rest of us know.

Obviously, when people have a lot of time on their hands, they like to spend that time doing something of their liking, i.e. browsing the Internet or talking on the phone. People, in general, do not like working on something tedious, something that requires dusting, cleaning and moving things around. Therefore, I was not surprised when two employees got upset and started to complain to other people.

Since I like to think that I do not need everyone’s validation, approval and eternal love, I insisted politely but firmly to stop wasting everyone’s time, including mine, and get to work.

Ever felt that your boss is picking on you? Ever felt that your boss is not being fair?

Put yourself in my shoes then, and think about this:

Priorities and deadlines always take over. Especially when you are the boss. Consequently, I put breaks on something that is non-essential such as trying to please my employees by cleaning the storage space myself.

Fairness should rule any office. I always make sure that my decisions are based on impartial assessment of the situation.

Popularity contest is good when it relates to books, TV shows, blogs and fashion. In the office, getting work done correctly and in a timely manner matters. Nothing else.

The big picture matters the most. The annoying and tedious marshmallow administrative stuff does not matter much. However, it needs to be done.

Confronting the few in order to motivate the majority is worthy of my time and my effort.

Listening is worthy of my time if it is tied into overall goals. Complaints that do not make sense are … senseless.

Responsibility to understand the workplace climate lies on my shoulders. If I ask someone who is working on an approaching deadline to clean storage space, and someone else is sitting around babbling on the phone, what does it make me? Useless.

Most of the time my ultimate goal as a manager is to craft a solution that is fair and makes sense. If that does not work, however, I am more than capable (and so is your boss) of playing hard ball. It is never my preferred method, but if that is the only option that I am left with, I might choose that route, and very effectively.

Remember, just like in real life, in the office nobody can make everyone happy. It’s called office life.

Want me to discuss any specific topic? Have a question? Got a situation and need advice? Feel free to email me anonymously (or not.)

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