Tag Archives: James Adonis

Employee Enragement: Why people HATE working for you

By now some of you may or may not have realised, I’m working on some cultural change in my workplace at the moment- and it isn’t easy. No one expects it to be, but then I guess you never realise how hard it is when you have people in a particular industry that aren’t quite like those in the private sector.

In terms of the LSI, the primary styles of the people that I work with are:


• A strong tendency to deny responsibility for one’s own behaviour
• Feelings of guilt over real or imagined mistakes
• Fear of failure
• A pre-occupation with one’s own concerns
• Lack of self-disclosure that eventually leads to emotional isolation


• Low self-esteem
• Pre-occupation with opinions of others
• A tendency to be too agreeable, “wishy-washy” and compliant
• Difficulties with conflict, negotiation and confrontation


• The ability to ask tough- probing questions
• A tendency to seem aloof and detached from people
• A need to look for flaws in everything
• A tendency to make others feel uncomfortable
• A negative, cynical attitude
• A sarcastic sense of humour

Sounds fun hey…

I was reading “Employee Enragement; Why people hate working for you” by James Adonis and I thought I might share a few key things that I have personally experienced in my working life so far that you may find humourous/appaulling/entertaining (or not!).

Just to give you some background, the book outlines 50 of the top reasons for employee disengagement and while some are quite funny- it is something that our people managers are doing every single day.

#49- Care and compassion: In one of my jobs there was a problem with the air conditioning. You know the story; some people near the glass are sweating while the people in the middle are freezing. Well they did do some testing, and I was sitting in a section of the office that was 14 degrees. I tried to stay warm but I ended up being really ill with a virus after no one would do anything to help me. Despite working really hard for 10 and sometimes 12 hours a day, when I took two days off sick the Senior HR person demanded to know why I wasn’t there and a colleague explained the situation. When I came back she said ‘had a bit of hay fever did we?’. What a cow.

#45- Empowerment: One HR director had to approve everything. And we’re talking down to invitations to induction. If you can’t empower your senior specialist then why are they there?

#41- Office psychopaths: haha so many examples coming to me right now. One I will share that happened to me this week. My workplace has hard floors and long corridors. I am female and I wear heels. This is what was put on my door this week. It is kinda funny, but at the same time- very, very weird. Passive Aggressive much?

quiet shoes

#27- Overworked: Nothing is more important then a person’s health and wellbeing. Sure deadlines will pass, but we are talking about people here. A manager once told me I couldn’t go home after 12 hours and I felt like I might be sick from exhaustion. Please managers- watch your employees and put them first.

#5- Negativity: Everyone must have worked with a Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer at some stage. They are draining, exhausting and may or may not be labelled an ‘oxygen thief’ in the team. I’ve encountered many of these and even been one myself at various times. One teammate I worked with threw a tantrum because we were presenting to the management team and I had printed some slides to explain my section and hadn’t told her. It was a last minute thing on my behalf, but I didn’t think it warranted her screaming, throwing things and swearing at me. Not acceptable. For any reason. Ever.

And the number one reason is lazy and underperforming co-workers according to James Adonis. He says that in a lot of companies many people just get paid for turning up rather than on how they perform, and this is very disengaging for the ones who work really hard. This is particularly true for government organisations whose remuneration scales are generally very transparent.

Out of necessity sometimes, managers end up spending more time on the bad employees when they should be dedicating time with the good performers. So what do you do then?

James suggests that you:

1) Train them
2) Motivate them
3) Nuture them
4) And if that doesn’t work sack them!

What do you think??



Leave a comment

Filed under Change Management, Recommended Readings

The Top 12 Leadership Training Mistakes

Good morning everyone- I’m back after a few days of being ill. Rather inconvenient actually, but in the spirit of moving onwards and upwards with the week I attended a short seminar in the city this morning which was about “The Top 12 Leadership Training Mistakes”.

Hosted by James Adonis of ‘Team Leaders’, the seminar went for about an hour at Circular Quay and James mentioned a lot of good points about why leadership training often fails us. Some of the reasons include the course being too basic (we’ve all been to courses before that tell us how to suck eggs), the facilitator might not be experienced enough to manage the audience appropriately, it’s boring (i.e. delivered in a way that is not engaging or focuses on ploughing through the content not the learner experience) and the leadership training may not cater to each individual learning style.

James also mentioned one of the biggest mistakes which I think is true of most formal learning/training programs- “no reinforcement”. If we send people along to a training program and then just expect that they’ll behave differently when they get back, we are setting ourselves up to fail.

We can't just plant the leadership seeds, and expect them to grow on their own!

We can't just plant the leadership seeds, and expect them to grow on their own!

We can’t just send our terrible people leaders on leadership courses and expect them to have some giant Oprah ‘ah ha’ moment and return the manager of the year. The leader will need reinforcement of the correct behaviours and feedback when they aren’t meeting the expectations. It may help for the individual to set goals at the end of the training for ways in which they are going to change and review these regularly with a manager. They might also need ongoing coaching or mentoring and regular, specific feedback in the moment is imperative.

As a HR professional, do you actively follow-up with clients after they’ve attended a training program to evaluate its effectiveness and ensure that the learning has been transferred to the workplace?

**Check out the Team Leaders website and download the free stuff**

Leave a comment

Filed under Learning and Development