Working in a department which is meant to deal with all matters of strategic business organization is one thing that might mean fun. Having a superior who is neither fluent in English nor even the least bit of German in a German mother-tongue company is another thing.

Working in a department dealing with (strategic) international business organizational matters and hosting a whole lot of international people with diverse cultural backgrounds is one thing also, since I consider cultural diversity an asset and not at all a burden. Having a superior who is completely ignorant about diversity settings, intercultural competencies and most likely has never had any self-reflections is another thing as well.

In an international corporate it is pretty difficult to highlight someone’s deficiencies, even if obvious. And even if this person being a superior is demotivating a team completely only by his or her actions or ways of communication, the manager promoting this person would scarcely be willing to accept that he or she made a mistake by having made such an appointment. Because that would pinpoint to him or her having made a mistake. A strong personality is required to openly commit to a wrong decision. In today’s corporate environment such personalities are hard to find. Once you have your managerial position strong and secured, you keep it this way. When you’re out, you’re out for longer, mostly. Or you need to step down further than anticipated. Not so cool.

I can watch this from my desk at the office. I can watch such a scenery. I am involved somehow, yes. But neither am I the manager who has a bad conscience due to his wrongdoings, nor am I the one who had been promoted (which you might – from a logical point of view – already have thought, since both my German and English are probably good enough to communicate properly). I only used to be a manager. Earlier. And yes, I needed to step down also further. No tear, no fear, though.

Recently our daily routine was interrupted by news from a colleague who was sent to an intensive care unit when suffering from a severe concussion of the brain. He was found lying on the stairs, unconscious. He was ill quite often and appeared to suffer from the stress that was inflicted upon him and the team by his superior. Who is the one with the poor communication skills. He openly also complained to some of us how he was suffering from the working situation and I often tried to calm him down or comfort him. I assume that if he was in my shoes he’d probably freak out completely. Mind you, he’s still a lot younger, about 20 years. And already completely wrecked. I also assume that his suffering now is due to the work situation as well, since he is the type of employee taking things at the company really serious.

I have highlighted the situation already to our HR-department. You know, Human Resources, what a ridiculous term when you see how some people there fill in their jobs…

What also comes to my mind is the fact that the overall target of our company is not all that bad. At least we aren’t ripping off people like others probably do. But still, we’re capitalists, we are paying out high dividends, we would like to keep it this way. Which also means that in order to deliver appropriate results it is inevitable to reduce costs and therefore inflict more stress upon the productivity of the employees.

So will it be a matter of time? In my experience you sometimes just should wait some and the problem disappears for no obvious reason…

What do you think? Wait? Challenge?



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