Are managers unhappy with happy employees?

Techie with a heart By Techie with a heart, 8th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Management

Can bosses be friends with their subordinates? Finding answers to certain other questions might help in resolving this question.

Are managers unhappy with happy employees?

We always hear that people belonging to IT field are the happiest ones with a good pay packet, partying over weekends, spending vacation with boyfriends/girlfriends, shopping for family, buying latest gadgets and so on. Is that so? If yes, what are they scared of when it comes to sharing the happiness with their office colleagues?

Manish and Tripti, both working in MNCs are taking 10 days of vacation for a trip to Europe on their first anniversary. But both of them have not divulged about their trip to any of their colleagues and have just told them that they are going to their hometown. They also chose not to put up any of the pictures or status messages on any social networking sites and the sole reason - their managers. They are of the opinion that if the managers get to know that you have gone for an overseas trip, they will not consider you in the next hike cycle thinking that you are already earning so much to afford a foreign trip on your own. Manish also feels that his manager might even ask him to support the project during the next few weekends and support during odd timings as he has come back after having a joyful trip.

Monica has submitted her medical certificates for and is waiting for getting an approval from her supervisors for going on a three month loss of pay from her company. But the only reason behind her three month absence is to visit her husband in USA after a year of staying separately. When I checked with her as to why she cannot just tell the truth, she laughs aloud and says that this is IT industry. And here managers are not compassionate enough to understand your personal problems and never approve anything unless they see any benefit from the company perspective.

Anamika has bought a new flat in a posh area and has invited everyone in her team except her manager for the house warming ceremony. She in fact went to the extent of telling the entire team not to speak in office about the nice weekend fun she and her teammates had at her new flat. When asked as to why she didn’t call the managers, her response was something like this. ‘If I would tell him about my new apartment and the loan associated with it, he will immediately come to a conclusion that I will not quit until I pay the loan and so he will dump me with more work and make my life hell’.

Swaroopa is in her third month of pregnancy and is on cloud nine, but she has not yet said about this to anyone in her office yet. She too has a reason. She feels that if she reveals about her pregnancy, her leads would come to know that she would go on a maternity leave in due time and they would not give her enough importance in the project and start behaving with her as an alien even though she is still interested in working till her delivery and also continue to work post her maternity leave.

These are just a few cases which I have seen in the last few weeks where people are doing extremely well in their personal lives but are hesitant in letting their coworkers know about what is going on. Why is it that they have not dared to disclose their joy in office? Some of them want to keep their moments personal but for most of them, it has something or the other to do with their managers.

From what I understand, this has mostly to do with Indian managers and Indian employees. In other countries they give equal or more importance to personal life as work – both managers and employees. So their staff need not make up stories in front of their superiors to get something they want.

If you are a manager reading this article, I know, you would be totally against what is written here and would try to justify that you are running a business and not doing any kind of charity work and you need to show numbers to the higher management for meeting up the targets. And if that requires disallowing someone from their wants, it is totally for business and there is nothing personal about it. But as Indians, we always have that poignant side of ours and how much ever we try not to bring in those emotions we always end up in displaying them in some way or the other.

I think managers and soon to be managers should ponder over these and answer to the questions ‘Am I really unhappy and egoistic when my team members share their happiness? Has education taught me to behave inhuman and not to think about a fellow being’s wellness? Would I be happy if the same would happen to my own children or relatives? Have I ever been in such a situation with my boss and if yes, then why I am doing the same with my juniors?’ I think the answers to these questions might result in more caring and gentle leaders who can give the sense of confidence to their staff that they are safe to speak up and who can be a reason for both company’s turnover and for the beautiful smiles on their employees’ faces.


Employees, Happiness, Managers

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author avatar Techie with a heart
I like reading and this is my small attempt towards writing. My writings would be mostly inspired by the day to day situations faced by me and people around me.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
9th May 2013 (#)

Arundhati, I can understand the issues as I am from India and worked there. But I have worked many more years outside. My take is Asians (especially the older) take their lives too seriously - you read about hot-housing young children to be tops in education. So we overdo and do not know when to let go. So seeing others having a good time creates some jealousy especially if they happen to be subordinates. In life the best way is to go by our conscience and not worry about what others think - siva

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author avatar Techie with a heart
11th May 2013 (#)

Hi Siva, You are absolutely true as in most of the cases, its only the old people who are trying to create trouble. And in the process, victims tend to lose their peace of mind.

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author avatar Dr. sudhakar
11th May 2013 (#)

Hello dear, ironically, many times , mediocres occupy high positions an start meddling with can find them everywhere..They are the mandatory occupational hazards one has to deal with..dont loose heart...all will be well. Ignore them..

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