Hiding, dodging, complaining and so on: how to prevent apathetic behavior in the workplace?

Whether in business or in the media, you’ve surely heard of them: they’re blithely nicknamed the safehouses, the complainers, the fugitives, the discard pile champions, the patented slackers, the stowaways, the underwater workers, the masters of the art of smoking, even difficult personalities. A thorn in the side of companies, these employees are known to decrease productivity and annoy their colleagues. But what about the feelings of employees concerned about these criticisms?

A boon for companies

These “fans” talk loudly, grumble a lot, and sometimes take over the work of others. It is also not surprising to have seen the emergence, in times of a pandemic, of managers doubting the involvement of certain members of their confined teams. ” Camera turned off at the meeting, he intervenes very little; he appears suspiciously still online in Teams and didn’t want to go back to the office when the rules were relaxed witness a manager of a large company.

Among the most described typical profiles are those who systematically leave the office at a specific time, those who have good excuses for not coming to a team seminar, those who wander from meeting to meeting without ever producing anything concrete, those who spend a lot time at the coffee machine, those who, as the annual interviews approach, claim that everything is fine and then complain all the time when that fateful meeting ends, those who constantly claim that they are overworked and refuse any new assignment and worse, those who are elected staff representatives only to become untouchable!

There is no need to be a fortune teller to understand that your behavior is counterproductive and actually undermines the morale of your peers. Whether young or old, male or female, companies are looking to get rid of them. After all, some have been holding on as well as they could for ten years!

A Blessing for Employees

When we come to question the first stakeholders, it is, however, a completely different perspective that they bring to us. No, laziness is not part of their DNA and their suffering is very real. There are those who are bored, those for whom the tasks performed are meaningless, those who are disillusioned, those who are frustrated, those who say they are exploited, those who feel infantilized or even disrespected. Their common ground: they are still employees of the company, but they have long been disengaged.

The director of my cabin made a speech to pressure us during confinement, he spoke of a collective war effort, which we had to work twice as hard. Fueled up for 6 months, was on the verge of exhaustion, never got a thank you. One morning, back at the office, a big smile came across his face, telling us that the pandemic had been good for our practice, completely disgusted me. “, says a young employee. “ Obviously this discouraged me, I didn’t want to work for this box anymore, but as I was afraid of not finding a job, I kept doing as little as possible. “.

I asked for a change of position that didn’t work out, my tasks bore me and I have few possibilities to take initiatives. So obviously in telecommuting, I rush my work to do something else…but who wouldn’t? ? » tells us a young computer scientist.

Among the most suffered profiles, we can find some long-standing ones: “Don’t talk to me about quality of life at work, it’s a scam”. Some no longer hide from not securing the mandate for which they were elected several times: “ I’m not interested in people’s problems, everyone has their own problems “. At the origin of these sarcasms, the slow establishment of a deepening cynicism, generated by years of disillusionment.” I was very motivated to work side by side with management to improve working conditions, but we are not listened to, sometimes even denigrated, nothing changes and sometimes it is worse. But where would I go if I left the company? I don’t know how to do anything else “.

A loss-loss balance

Implicitly anchored in deterministic postulates, representations linked to workers form two very different stereotypes: motivated and fugitives. If it is true that there are individuals with a special ability to do as little as possible, it is even more true that we are not born unmotivated, but we become one. While disengaged employees undermine the smooth running of the company and the employees themselves suffer from these situations, how to explain this unfortunate status quo?

You can download the full article and, in particular, the explanatory mechanisms and levers to be activated here:

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