Nigerian Workplace Deceptions (2)

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As I stated in the last piece, there are tonnes of topics we can discuss in this regard. We shall be discussing just five since we only have days to run the series. Today, we shall take a look at another aspect of deception in the Nigerian workplace. This will look familiar if you have been working for at least five years.

The Problem

Almost all company executives, I mean management staff (those who make the decisions) know the problem and the solution to the problem. The question is, why are they not solving it? Sometimes, the solution may be too expensive for the business. The question really is; Is there any way to make money without spending money? I believe that’s what business is all about. You spend money to attract more money. You only need to make sure it will bring in more money.

I once worked in a media house as a volunteer staff. We were about five at that time. We served with all our strength eagerly looking forward to seeing the business grow without any remuneration for months. We presented to the then management to give us a certain amount of money to upgrade business with analysis on the upgrade will generate six times of the amount requested. It wasn’t granted. All we were told is that there’s no money.

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At the end of the year, we read in the “Thank you message for the year” how several grants and donations had come in. That same year, top management executives were reported to have embezzled millions and billions of the organization’s funds in different capacities. Was there really no money? I leave you to answer that question. Sometimes I ask, why do they pay top management so much to deceive other employees and get them out of the job when in actual fact, they are the problem. This is because they know the problem but they never solve it for several reasons.

The Threats

A lot of times, they (management) will be beating around the Bush in meetings held to identify the problems and proverb solutions. In the process of beating around the Bush, they will cleverly find a way to fault the junior staff or front line staff and make them believe they are the problem. So they will shift the focus away from the main problems such as bad product design, non-customer-centric promo offers, bad management decisions, etc. They focus on the staff with lots of threats to relieve them off the work.

Sometimes you wonder how on earth will someone design a product or service in a certain way. You see sales promotions that are designed without the thought of the customer at heart. The truth is, they know those things because many of them will probably not buy too if they were they, the customer. They can see the problem but they will put a blind spot on it. If the sales are not coming in, the employees must be the problem. They will never agree to the obvious. They may even read customer reviews and interact with a few customers, it doesn’t matter to them. All they will say is, to get another set of employees if they are not giving us the result.

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When A Problem Lingers For Long

Truth be told, anytime a problem lingers for too long. Just know that one or more of the top officers is getting something from the problem. When this happens, you can speak all the grammar in the world during your meetings, nothing will happen. It is at this point that meetings become more of a routine discussing the same issues without any result. This is because the real problem is left unaddressed. You can even write a new initiative every now and then, it will end in the waste bin. It is just a waste of precious time and intellectual property.

The painful thing is that they (management) will keep asking you (employees) for feedback and suggestions whereas they are putting a blind spot on the main problem. In meetings, they will act like every other thing is working normally except the employees. If you talk about the main problem too much or raise the concern as though it is the reason for poor performance, you are digging your own pit. That may be the way to your exit. So, everyone plays along like the main problems are not there. Deceiving and being deceived.

The Main Deception

They will then give you some time. They will tell you the figures are a bit better or remain silent. After a while, they will come so hard on the employees again. They will give you some bad figures and ask you why you should not be sacked for bad performance. The truth remains that no employee can succeed on his job description without input from the management especially on issues that border on product offers and availability of resources for work.

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Some problems are above the pay grade of frontline employees and those are to be solved by the so-called management. Even when employees make recommendations to the issues resolved, they are sidelined. When the recommendations are used to solve the problem (which rarely happens), employees are not recognized or valued for such input. This deception is at the heart of performance and if you have been working in the last few years, you are likely to have encountered this.

I will like to hear from you based on your experience. Kindly share with us via the comment section. Please endeavor to share via social media handles. Thank you for your time. See you tomorrow for another edition.