The realities of workplace frustration in Bangladesh

Dhaka,  Tue,  22 August 2017
Published : 18 May 2017, 00:24:07
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The realities of workplace frustration in Bangladesh

Naimul Kader


Human beings are compiled with tons of emotions. These emotions can be of happiness, of depression, of love, of frustration and of various other kinds of mental states. Employees of any organisation are human beings who work to contribute to the economic system of the nation and to improve individual lifestyle, living standards. In a word, employees are considered as working tools by the organisation.  

Human beings cannot avoid emotions and therefore, employees deal with their emotions in their working life. Their emotions are influenced by individual perceptions, ideologies, believes and concepts. Variations of these thoughts often lead employees to various conflicts. Conflict can result in internal anxiety, peer tension, unhealthy working atmosphere and ultimately frustration.  There are several conflicts that arise in any organisation either in an inter personal level or in an intra personal level.  An employee struggles to survive in an organisation to go through these conflicts, handles these in a professional manner to get rid of any sort of conflicts as well as to keep the working environment conflict-free and healthy.  

Many factors and reasons are related to these employee frustrations. These factors are important to be chalked out at first, to be understood properly and to be minimised or effaced gradually from the working atmosphere. When percentage of frustrated employees arises in an organisation, the organisation takes measure to minimise the intensity because it is an alarming situation for any organisation.

Frustration can be segmented into two new categories:

1. Process frustration:  A process frustration occurs when a person continuously feels blocked in a major area of life, such as learning, work, or love.  For example, insufficient salary and benefits at work creates the frustration in Mr. X.

2. Episode frustration: An episode frustration consists of a temporary impeding problem or condition. For example, initially Mr. X was happy at work, but gradually his supervisor's inconsistent, irrational and biased behaviour made him unhappy and gradually frustration caught him in the process.

Here in terms of any organisation and its various polices, this writer wants to present a case where an employee can be demotivated to severe level and finally can get frustrated in various ways:

Ms. X joined in a reputed telecom company as an executive right after her graduation. She has an urge to prove  herself and reach to her final goal. When this employee is slightly appreciated, or recognised for her work, she feels a drive to thrive for more. That person would require some extra benefits with good amount of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and performance bonus along with some sound amount of increments or even a promotion. Let us assume the final destination would be to hold a top position from where she can lead the entire organisation with her vision. But, here the hindrances occur, and the barrier can be organisation's frequent policy changes that will make the employees like her rethink their career goals within that organisation.

However, despite Ms. X's dedication and sincerity at work, if she has not been promoted or does not receive the implied incentive from the organisation after a year then she would feel this as an extreme barrier to reach to her personal goal, which can be the topmost position or CEO of the company.

Some of our biggest frustrations in life can come from our work environment. It may be work that is unfulfilling, co-workers that we have difficulty getting along with, or demanding organisational structures that seem to strip us of our time and suffocate our passion and creativity. We so often refer to this complex and stressful situation with a blanket term like 'career burnout'. There are other obstacles such as inadequate training and training that is not aligned with business goals, lack of equipment to do their jobs, lack of a clear understanding of goals and objectives, lack of a shared understanding of priorities, not knowing boundaries of decision-making authority, ineffective work processes, work structures not aligned with business goals etc.

The mantra of 'doing more with less' has become the norm as business continues a slow recovery from the economic recession of the last several years. Employees who once feared losing their jobs are now feeling insecure about keeping their jobs. If managers truly want to retain the most engaged and committed employees, they must remove obstacles that cause frustration.

The writer is the founder and CEO of Fly High Career Guidelines, a startup career consultancy firm, naimul.kader@northsouth.edu
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