Realities in the Workplace

Succesful businesswoman CEO of companyIs anyone indispensable in an organization?

Ask NBA player Isaiah Thomas and he would tell you “no one.”

The experience of Isaiah Thomas in the NBA, getting traded by his former team, the Boston Celtics, to the Cleveland Cavaliers, despite giving his all when he played with them, despite playing for them in the playoffs a day after his beloved sister died tragically in a car accident, mirrors that painful reality in the workplace.

Isaiah Thomas learned the hard way that no one’s indispensable in an organization.

How valuable was Isaiah Thomas as a Celtic player? He led the team to the best record in the East during the 2016-2017 NBA season and brought the franchise all the way to the Eastern Conference finals. He was the team’s scoring and spiritual leader. But that did not prevent the Boston Celtics from letting go of him through the Kyrie Irving trade.

Should the Boston Celtics be faulted for doing what they did?

Thomas should know that it’s nothing personal. He was hurt by what his former team did but is not crying a river over it. He knows it’s all about  business. It is something he should accept, whether he likes it or not. The executives of the Celtic organization merely exercised their prerogatives. They did nothing illegal. They simply acted in what they think is in the best interest of the team. And look where are they now… (as of the January 14, 2018) they hold the best win-loss record in the Eastern Conference of the NBA.

That is one thing employees should bear in mind. There are times that employers have to do what they need to do in order for their business to prosper or simply survive. They need to implement changes and tweak policies at a certain point, sometimes at times when the employees least expected them. Notwithstanding  disagreements coming from “downstairs,” changes “people upstairs” want to make,  will be implemented. “People downstairs” can complain all they want but there’s nothing they could do.

When changes are implemented and policies get tweaked, the employees should not take it personally. Changes in the workplace happen when they are due. It is something inevitable. They need to get used to it. Employees need to be ready to make decisions when they happen. There are available options that they are free to exercise.

Employees may simply embrace the changes and move on. They may decide to just accept organizational shake-ups, policy modifications, and what-have-you then continue working. It’s either they view the changes as necessary or accept the fact that they could simply do nothing to prevent them from happening.

Those who would consider that such changes are unacceptable… those who think that they are being taken out of their comfort zones… those who feel being taken advantage of… do have two possible courses of action. They can either resign and continue their quest to  find a perfect workplace or they will stay put and contest the legality of the changes that the employers made.

But locking horns with the bosses is a difficult struggle. Employers are always careful with decisions they make. Only the ignorant ones would risk getting hauled to court by effecting changes or making moves contrary to established laws and ordinances. Just like the Boston Celtics who certainly made sure that they have all legal loopholes covered before they finalized their agreement with the Cavs.

Most employers are wise.  One of the things an employer or businessman worth his salt does is study the laws and regulations that govern his business endeavors. It’s hard to catch them off-guard in legal matters. They simply know what buttons to push whenever “push comes to shove.”  In addition, they also consult lawyers to make sure that they face no legal impediments with anything that they do.

Employees who disagree with changes that those who employ them implement often fight a lonely battle which they are more likely to lose than win. They also risk getting ostracized. If they decide to settle the matter of disagreement in the court of law, the employers are ready. With all their financial resources, they are ready to fight  a long-drawn legal battle until the employee’s pocket and resolve run dry. There’s also a question of whether or not the majority (or even a few) of their co-workers share their sentiments. They cannot force anybody to join their cause, especially those who consider the changes made necessary and inevitable. They should not force anybody not willing to listen to their complaints about policies and personalities in their organization to give them time for their whinges and whines.

Employees  simply cannot expect their colleagues to look at things and issues in the organization in the same way they do. People in organizations do not  share the same perspectives. Even their circumstances are different. People are also driven by sets of motivations that might be entirely different from one another.

Another thing that employees should always remember is that while they need to ensure that their rights as workers are protected, conversely, the employers will do everything to protect their own investments…to improve their business…or to keep their business afloat… even if it means firing their best employees. It’s nothing personal. It’s simply business.

And the lesson everybody should learn from the Isaiah Thomas’s experience in the NBA is that in an “employer-employee relationship,” business interests outweigh loyalty. Expect nothing from your employers beyond what is stipulated in your contract. They do the same.  The employees just need to work as best as they can. There are employers who know how to reward those who work hard. Employers also know how to deal with the perennial whingers and whiners.

Just love the work and enjoy the pay. Find a motivation that will keep you going in the workplace. If there’s none, not even the pay, then it’s time to pack up and find another workplace.

Here is the thing, if you think you can find a perfect workplace, you’ve got to be kidding.

The workplace is a jungle. Only the fittest survive. The workplace is not for the faint-hearted and unprepared. It’s also the worst place for whingers and whiners. If you’re any of the aforementioned, you’re like a helpless deer walking in the lions’ den.

In the jungle called the workplace, you will surely perish if you’re weak, wimpy, and whiny.

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