I was reading Deb Green’s post, Preventing the Miserable Workplace — that was miraculously trending on the GovLoop homepage this morning, four months after its original publish date — and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a fed employee friend who is unequivocally unhappy with his workplace.
Deb’s post is about how managers can keep their workplace from becoming an unhappy environment. She gives some good advice:
- Don’t let your employees be anonymous
- Don’t be anonymous to your employees
- Ask employees what they think about the workplace
- Fight immesurement and irrelevance
But what happens when you have a manager who is not concerned about the quality of the workplace? We know that it unfortunately happens and in many cases, workers feel helpless to make their situation better.
Here is the story of my friend: he has been working for the government for 30 years, almost all of them in the same agency. While he loves his co-workers, and enjoys the kind of work he does, his relationship with his bosses has become toxic after he acted as whistleblower against a case of unethical spending by a boss. Now he feels like an outsider and hates going to work. It doesn’t sound like anyone in charge of the office is interested in improving or reinventing their workplace.
My friend is looking for other work but is not able to financially “vote with his feet” until he finds another job. Until something comes through for him, he will have to keep working in a toxic work environment.
What are some tips for people who work in an already miserable workplace and want to make the most of it?