Inside every cynical person there is a disappointed idealist
– George Carlin
Cynicism may be defined as an ostentatious or sarcastic doubts on human sincerity and merit. If we apply this to the workplace, cynicism is becoming a bigger problem. Employees regard management as their enemy and feel it is not to be trusted.
The consequence of widespread cynicism in the workplace is increased unionism and its concomitant effects. Rather than collaborative effort, what we see in the workplace is “they” against “us” syndrome, with workers becoming more difficult to manage and less efficient. The consciousness and efforts of workers are more and more shifted to antagonism, spurning innovation, balking, at change, and creating unrest. Workers’ loyalty is now to themselves and not to the organization. They want more and even at a time that organizations are expected to operate on a zero budget growth.
Very difficult to put a finger on, uncontrolled inordinate appetite for more wealth often drive workers to demand more and more. If these demands are not met, they begin to compare themselves with the company executives, and feel relatively deprived. People become cynical when they try to measure their worth as a function of material wealth-cars, homes, and other monetary items.
If an organization is to succeed, it needs a non-cynical workforce. We need a culture of collaboration as opposed to a culture of cynicism and antagonism. In order to combat cynicism, management must handle the workforce gingerly, that is with extreme caution so as to avoid deteriorating effect. Management must take an extra time to convince workers and union leaders that “the work life is the good life” and that, what is good for the company is good for the employees.
Cynicism is more often the product of poor human resource management. Employers must ask themselves such questions as;: Are we communicating enough with workers? Do we set goals that are attainable? Do we treat our employees with respect? Do we hire and fire at will without due process? These are likely sources of discontent and cynicism.
Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows
– Daviid Wolf

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