What Should I Do?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an impression his/her work is not satisfactory.                                      

Management has previously told me that my performance is fine, but I’m now getting the impression that it is not. Having asked several times before, I am still not been told directly what I’m doing wrong when I have been told I would have to be told by the manager. The environment now feels very hostile to work in.

Signed, Feel Hostility

Dear Feel Hostility:

I have often said that work is hard enough without feeling you are working under a dark cloud. From the few words you share, it is evident that you have reason to feel that something is wrong and that is especially frustrating because you can’t learn what it is you are doing to cause that. There almost always can be many reasons one’s workplace environment is hostile, but you can’t name anything specific.

I gather that you have asked what’s wrong. And whomever you asked what you are doing wrong and has told you she/he was not the one to answer your query and that you “would have to be told by the manager.”

There is no way from here to shed light to a cloudy workplace. So you have some options: · Grit your teeth and stiffen your backbone. Examine what problems have clouded your performance and do all within your ability to solve them. Don’t complain. Don’t continue to ask what’s wrong. Just focus on delivering the best quality of work possible. Be pleasant. But be focused.

· Schedule a meeting with your manager and to candidly say what you have written us; that you sense that your performance is not seen as satisfactory. Come to that meeting prepared. Have with you examples of what you do-and of feedback you have got early on that was good and now that is not reassuring. Also reflect on the interaction of your job; who makes assignments, to whom what you do is delivered, and who approves/disapproves of it. Also think through ways to cut wasted supplies, duplication, time, energy and ways to add value to your workplace.

· Think team. If your work group’s boss were a coach, she/he would have skull sessions that enlist ideas from all as what has been going well and what needs improving. You should not be blamed if your boss is not a coach, but you should not be shy about seeking specifics about what needs to be done and done better.

Which of these options makes sense to you? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Getting to WEGO doesn’t just happen. It comes from clear and supportive communication. You have a voice. You don’t want to be a pest that keeps asking for praise, but you can request clarification about your performance. You don’t have to wait for an annual performance appraisal.

William Gorden