It was brought to my attention recently that one of the senior staff members at my company decided on a new tactic on how to motivate staff.
Did he take some work from someone to free up their time to catch up? No.
Did he offer an afternoon off to thank someone for staying late several times that week? No.
He decided that it would be in the company’s best interests to tell this person that they were thinking of delaying the hire of a second analyst because they felt that this person could just work harder. He asked, having seen this person browsing the internet a couple of times, whether they stayed late simply because they did personal activities during the day!
This employee therefore decided that since her extra efforts and staying late (sometimes until 8 or 9pm) were making it look like she was dossing about during the day, she started leaving at 5.30pm on the dot. When her boss was travelling, she wasn’t available to answer his emails. She stopped going over and above, and ultimately started looking for another job.
A couple of weeks before this, the same staff member had gone to the effort of printing out my entire internet browsing history and presented it to me like a cat presents a dead bird to its owner. He seemed proud that he’d just killed about 16 trees.
The conversation went a little like this:
Him: I know you do a lot of research for other team members but your internet history is way larger than anyone else’s.
Me: if you know I do a lot of research for other team members, why are you asking me about it?
Him: because I want to know if any of these websites were browsed for personal use.
Me: of course some are. I’m here from 8am to 6pm, and I have a lunch break. At what times were all those sites accessed?
Him: I don’t have that information
Me: so they could all have been accessed over my lunch breaks?
Him: were they?
Me: I don’t have that information
Him: why did you visit the John Lewis website so often on this date?
Me: I had to order all the glasses and cutlery for the office
Him: ok so why have so many hotels come up on your history?
Me: you mean when I was asked to research hotels for our offsite?
Him: ok well what about Sainsbury’s?
Me: you asked me to look at how much it would cost to have our tea and coffee delivered. Is there anything there that I’ve accessed which is in breach of our company policies?
Him: I’ve not looked through it thoroughly yet
Me: ok well how about you do that and then come back to me if you have any questions. I will be happy to answer anything.
About two hours later he went over to the shredder with that wad of paper (including everyone else’s by the looks of it!) and it was never spoken of again!
Way to go to make it look like you spy on everyone! I’m keeping an eye out for when the security cameras get installed.