Workplace Horrors.  Be afraid, be very afraid...

Posted by Peter Colley on 31-Oct-2016 10:35:20

Halloween is upon us. It's that time of the year when complete strangers dressed in monster costumes come to your house just after dark and ask for, of all things, sweets. Retail outlets, not wanting to be outdone, are stocked with plastic brooms, rubber spiders and soon-to-be-carved pumpkins. All in good taste perhaps, but for some people, the workplace sadly could be considered a house of horrors.


If you’re not particularly enjoying your job, every day could feel like a nightmare from which you never seem to wake. Below are just a few nightmare scenarios, not necessarily out of ‘The Purge’ (our Halloween recommendation this year), but still haunting nonetheless.

All new employees want to make a good impression, but opportunities to do just the opposite are awash in this induction period. Employees may get away with getting the boss’s name wrong once or getting lost (while at work). How though? There could be crucial phases where knowing who’s who, how things work, or where certain locations are, could be the difference in clinching and losing a coveted opportunity. Instant access to information via information portals or employee apps could bridge the knowledge gaps in these early phases.

It’s not just new employees, however, who face potential workplace horrors. Maybe you were giving a presentation, having heavily rehearsed it beforehand, only for your memory to go walkabouts as you’re about to speak. Cue panic. How would you handle a situation where a sender meant to forward your conversation to another person, along with a slightly sarcastic comment, but instead they hit reply and sent it to you? The flip side of the coin is where you send out an email to an important client… only to realize you’ve got the name or some key detail wrong.  If you’re trying to be the picture of professionalism, then at times like this, you just want the ground to open up and swallow you.

While using office equipment or some complicated software program may not be akin to defusing a bomb, at times it certainly feels like it. You press Enter, cross your fingers and secretly hope it doesn’t blow up in your face. Or you’ve been working for hours on a tight deadline, only to be presented with the ‘Windows blue screen of death’ to remind you that you haven’t hit ‘Save’ once. Oops, too late!

You could have a less than ideal relationship with your boss which leaves you not knowing where you stand exactly. Your boss may well be unreachable with information flowing only one way; top-down. Absent recognition almost always leads to a parting of ways. Bob Nelson’s quote is telling here: “People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” Other often cited horrors lurking in the corridors of work include:

  • not being included
  • not being trusted
  • not being valued
  • not being empowered to do the job
  • not being trained

Incidentally, the exorcism of these horrors forms the basis of most employee engagement programs.

Want to exorcise your workplace horrors? There’s an Employee App for that.




Topics: Employee engagement, Employee App