The misuse of position and power is widespread practice in most of the institutions and resultantly a distressed work environment is created where subordinates are left with demotivation which results in lack of performance.
Muneer Ahmed Mirjat
The enabling work environment in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is important for growth and development like other organizations. The employee or teacher hired for specific service expects a congenial and supporting work space for delivery of duties. The expectations of such working environment remain future tense and employees are pushed to take responsibly of tasks and activities which are not possible without team work. The bosses with bureaucratic mindset mostly issue orders like Mughal kings for compliance without realizing the capacity, nature of the task and consequences of such work behavior. The bosses in subject position will try to dominate employee in object position. If the object will try to explain professional dynamics of the tasks assigned to him, the reaction will be like ‘don’t teach me how to work’; ‘I have this much of experience’ etc. The professional approach requires consideration of rationale and logic shared by the object.
The misuse of position and power is widespread practice in most of the institutions and resultantly a distressed work environment is created where subordinates are left with demotivation which results in lack of performance. The non-availability of proper job description and key performance indicators for tasks and activities give open space for bosses to manipulate the situation. The subordinate is assessed on the basis of how much he obeyed orders of seniors and told to follow what is said in between the lines. He is asked not to share rules but how to mend rules for the specific cases. The successful are those who find provisions and precedent of those tasks which are not possible conventionally.
Those who are straight forward and value self-respect in working environment will be humiliated before the juniors for forcefully accepting the narrative of bosses or clearly submit their consciousness for nothing but declaring and behaving complete dominance of bosses. Such behavior is appreciated and considered as good teamwork. Although, teamwork is different than above description; the leader in the team will make all members to feel like as an important part of the organization. He will mentor and guide his team members perform well and collective decision-making is preferred over dictating style of decision making. The queries and concerns of the employee are addressed with positive mindset without labelling him with different names which will result in teasing work environment. The organizations in public sector mostly don’t care about employee’s mental health caused due to stress created by the bosses as well as due to certain natural process encountered by the employee.
The individuals fallen to distress levels are also ignored by the peers due to the fact that he is rejected material of the bosses therefore indulging with him shall result as curse to them. Same behavior is mostly experienced by divorced and unmarried women in our society who are blamed for everything without realizing role of the other party involved in the process. Most of highly qualified people will avoid company of such people whom bosses have labelled like disobedient, useless, poor performer etc. The deprived employees are sometimes labelled as cyclists who lack vision and because they travel with speed of cycle. There are people who are superior to them as they have more flying experience which cyclist doesn’t have. Although, one can argue that cyclists are more aware of the ground realities than those who just fly away in most of the times when their presence is required in the organization. They will visit whole world but will not try to visit their own employees of their organization.
Most of the time sympathetic personal attention to the employees will boost their performance. The continuous in-service professional training and capacity building measures are also carried out for this purpose. Private organizations declare employee of the month or year for increasing performance whereas in public sector employees are given explanations, adverse remarks and advisories to boost the ego of bosses. I remember once my colleague who is successful in his career advised me not to do lot of work as there will be probability of mistakes in the work which will be used as evidence for poor performance. While continuing his advice he also said ‘try to forward to others’ (“de aglay koon”) so that responsibility is shared. He also shared his experience that don’t make straight away ‘no’ to the boss when he orders something; try to read his mind first and then find provision and precedent for that and then submit proposal which requires his approval or forward it to other organ i.e. legal or financial etc. of the organization for guidance. He concluded that forming a committee is best way to shift responsibility.
The culture of ‘are you with us or not’ is also part of the employee groups in the organizations. The group will enjoy all perks and privileges if they are in control of the authority or authority is in their control. The minority group of employees who have shying nature will keep on suffering due to powerlessness and lack of access to the authority. The traditional bosses will also consider their deprivation as their fault of not being part of their active or supporting group. Such harmless people are part of each organization since the organizations were born.
The successful organizations always take care of their employees and believe in networking and team working style. They invest for improving the qualification and skills of their employees. There is also need to develop some mechanism for other social needs i.e. education, housing, transport and also of mental health conditions in this age of information pollution. The clear job description along with enabling working environment is mandatory and then some accountability system is required.