Institute Workplace Relations

Guest Blog Filed by: IoGT Vice-Chairman, Dr. Kenneth Martin DBA.
It will come as no surprise to my fellow senior managers that employee well being and satisfaction are paramount to the health of any organization. Despite this however, the current economic downturn and the ever-present threat, or even reality, of unemployment means many middle and lower level employees have gained a certain level of ‘flexibility’ in their attitudes towards maintaining employment. For those of us in senior management roles, this ‘flexibility’ presents many previously untapped opportunities for personal amusement.

During the recent Institute sponsored 2009 Senior Management ‘Retreat’ in Portugal, I had an opportunity over drinks to ask other captains of industry for the simple, yet highly amusing antics they are using to foster ‘goodwill in the workplace.’ I have listed them in my personal order of preference.

1. When addressing employees, add no inflection to the end of your sentences to produce awkward silences that give the impression that you'll be saying more any moment.
 2. Insist that an employee finds out where a coworker shops, and buys exactly the same outfits. Always have them wear the outfits one day after their coworker does. (Note: this is especially amusing if employees are of different gender.)

3. Have employees page themselves over the intercom. (without disguising their voice.)

4. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and have employees reroute surrounding streets.

5. Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.

6. Staple meeting papers in the middle of the page.

7. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 98 copies.

8. In the memo field of all employee pay checks, write "For sensual massage."

9. Schedule meetings for 3:16pm & 2:41pm etc.

10. Insist employees dress as Cindy, Brady and Danny Partridge. Try to pass them off as your children to bemused colleagues.

11. Send email to the rest of all employees telling them what you're doing. For example "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."

12. Send email to yourself engaging yourself in an intelligent debate about the direction of one of your company’s products. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle the disagreement.