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4 Things Management Can Do To Bring the Office Down

January 5th, 2009

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Have you ever noticed just how little actually gets done in the average office?  It’s like the people in charge are looking for ways to create an office culture that is chocked-full of turtles who accomplish far less than their wolf counterparts.  What follows is a list of things management can do to create a low-performing team that stays out of the way and accomplishes just the bare minimum to scrape by with their jobs and a paycheck.

1.    Create a culture of cronyism.  Many managers do this and don’t even realize it.  They surround themselves with old college buddies, their nephews, or other people who don’t belong in the office in the first place.  These people are treated leniently and are generally given titles and perks that other, harder-working people are not.  This is a great way to lower morale and decrease productivity.

2.    Manage with apathy.  So many people work hard all the way up to management, and then think that they have paid their dues and no longer have to do anything.  When this occurs, there is always a reason or excuse as to why the boss is running late, or is gone completely.  When this type of manager returns from his or her unexplained hiatus, he or she rules with an iron fist, wondering why things aren’t running smoothly.  After a day or two, it’s back to the same old disappearing manager act.

3.    Overload your hard workers.  Rather than getting those who underperform their peers to work harder, keep distributing the work load to those who actually perform.  Why would you want the guy who takes three days to finish something on the task when someone else will get it done in three hours?  Just give all of the important work to the ones who perform.  Let the lazy employees get all the easy tasks.  This will certainly ensure that everyone decreases their productivity over time.

4.    Reward employees based on time accrued rather than merit.  Nothing says “you don’t really matter” to employees better than rewarding people for putting in time and paying their dues.  It doesn’t really matter if they’ve done a good job.  Simply pay them according to how long they’ve been willing to put up with their chosen profession, rather than what they’ve actually contributed.

Of course, there are many more things management can do to create a more apathetic office culture, but these are the main four.  If used all together, these can create an entire enclave of turtle employees who bear the weight of all their combined office inequities.  Implement these policies and watch your productivity go down the toilet.


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