My staff are complaining. Are they working to hard?

Dear Aunty B,

Last year I took over an organisation and was surprised at the culture. Most staff worked slack hours (9 to 5ish). Since I have started they are now at their desks by 8am and rarely leave before 6pm.

When they complained, I told them that I work a 90 hour week and so they still only work half as long as me.

This apparently has caused huge resentment, and I recently came across the email about the “90 hour wanker” that I assume is about me.

Are they working too hard?


Gerald S,
South Yarra




No, they are not working too hard, but you are. You sound like a right, royal pain.

You don’t get people to work harder by telling them about you. No one gives two hoots what you do. They care about what they do.

To get staff to work long hours willingly, you have to engage them through a vision, key performance indicators and rewards.

Look at the strife Kevin Rudd is in!

He is working himself into the ground and intends to take the whole of bureacracy with him. When his staff complained, he told them “tough”. Now what’s happening? The place is leaking like a sieve and his staff have found the time to take to the airways saying they don’t know what’s hit them. We all know what’s going to happen.

Kev is going to burn out and his staff are going to leave. And this is the man who campaigned on working families.

You won’t win this one Gerald. So back off and take a different approach. These are adults, not children, and the carrot works far better than the stick. Reward them for the hard work and show them how they can share in future rewards.

Remember though, people can be sitting in chairs for 12 hours a day and do half the work of an effective part timer.

One more thing: I assume if you are spying on their emails that you have a written policy, signed by your staff, that lets you do so…


Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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