It is common knowledge when people join organizations they do not come into the system in isolation at work; rather personality and personal and family problems follow them. Those managers who show in human behavior at work, they invite to conflict and employee dissatisfaction and alienation. Unsympathetic behavior causes distance in relationship between superior and subordinates. Unsympathetic behavior can become a reason to lose a trustworthy employee as it happened in the following example.

“I was working in the Maintenance Department as Mechanical Technician. A few years back, I became a father but unfortunately my son born with a disease known as Sickle Cell and admitted in the hospital. One day, I got a call from my wife from the hospital that doctors wanted to see me urgently to discuss blood transfusion for my son. I rushed to find the supervisor to tell him about the situation before leaving from the work but couldn’t. So I told my colleague to inform my supervisor about the urgency and rushed to the hospital.

After meeting with doctors, I came back to my work and found out that the supervisor visited the plant and left quickly without talking to anyone. I went to the supervisor’s office to tell him about the reason of my absence but he immediately got furious and accused me for leaving the work without permission. I tried to clarify my position but he furiously asked me to follow him to the manager’s office. In the manager’s office, I explained the whole situation under which I had to leave the work. The manager heard me sympathetically and comforted me. Then he advised to the supervisor to understand my situation. Instead of showing understanding to the manager’s advice, the supervisor got annoyed and started treating me badly at work, afterwards. The supervisor behavior became so irritating that I requested the manager to transfer me to another department. He tried to convince me to stay in the same department but I insisted him that it was not possible to work under the same supervisor. He got the point and managed my transfer in another department where I produced better results.

Learning from the case?

  1. Listen to your subordinate carefully.
  2. Simply shouting, without taking into account the reason, does not pay but spoils working relationship.
  3. If personal problems are not addressed at work, work becomes meaningless. People work to support themselves and family and not only to generate fat profits for firms.
  4. In human societies, it is expected that organizations must pay respect to serious human problems than production and profits. Those managers fail to accept this hard fact, they can lose employees. Looking after the employees’ interests beyond the contracts also fall under the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  5. When conflicts and disputes come at a higher level, the incumbent of the higher position must be neutral and make judgement within the accepted norms without considering who is superior or inferior.
  6. Superiors must be ready for losing support for irrational and inconsiderate behavior.
  7. Superiors must not victimize the subordinate for losing the case. In the case mentioned above, the supervisors should have been apologetic for his shouting then irritating the subordinate. As mentioned in another article, that apology can increase your respect and credibility than the vice versa.

Nadeem Yousaf

Uploaded: 08 August 2011

 Human Problems at Work and Unsympathetic behaviour