ISSUE 59 ISSN 1712-468
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Work Frustration and What to Do about It


1.    Do you get frustrated in your work?
2.    Do you feel some people just don’t get it?

Someone posted a great comment on Facebook yesterday: “I live in the era of smart phones and stupid people!” Most of us can relate to that statement at some time during the work week.

One aspect of my consulting practice that I thoroughly enjoy, most days, is working with business immigrants looking to move to British Columbia and start an entrepreneurial adventure. Currently, the quickest route to getting an approval is to buy an existing business where the current owners are getting ready to retire—a succession buy-out. If a business immigrant can find such a business, the approval time moves from 14 to 18 months to a mere 3 months.

Needless to say, that’s where the bulk of my clients want to play. I should clarify that my clients are actually immigration consultants and lawyers. They are hiring me to help with the business side of the application—helping their clients find the right business, negotiating the sale, writing the business plan, then helping their clients with their business performance agreement with the Province of BC.

As noted above, I thoroughly enjoy it most days. The days I don’t are when my clients are trying to fit their clients into a business opportunity they know nothing about but they want me to somehow magically make it all fit.

For example, today I was working on a case where a person wants to purchase an orchard in the Okanagan. This business immigrant wants to bring his older son to Canada to work with him. Thus, the Canadian Government requires the father to create an additional job in the business, then hire a resident Canadian citizen to fill that position.

The dad wants to build a packing house on the property and go into that business. The issue? He doesn’t have any experience in operating a packing house, yet he needs to convince a government authority that he does. Yes, he and his son have managed an agricultural company before, but it was a feed company. They have never grown fruit, harvested fruit, or sold fruit. I sit back and shake my head; that venture is headed for failure.

It means more work for me because I must educate them about the basics of running a packing house. Unfortunately, all my print and video training resources are in English—not their strong suit.

What does this have to do with you and your HR problems?

I guarantee that on the days you are most frustrated with an employee, it is often because that person is in the wrong position. As Jim Collins tells us in Good to Great, maybe the person is on the right bus—in the wrong seat.

I remember working with a client a number of years ago who had brought me in to help with some staffing issues. Part-way through the contract, he decided he wanted my role to change to fill in a hole we had discovered on his management team. It became apparent to me very quickly that I was not the right person for that job.

This was a company where we had taken everyone through CRG’s Personal Style Indicator; the managers were strong believers in the outcomes of the CRG assessments.

I completed a Job Style Indicator on the position the owner was expecting me to fulfill. When I compared my PSI results to the JSI results, there were huge mismatches in a couple of the dimensions. Let’s just say that when it comes to being a “C,” I can do it, but it is not my thing. Unfortunately, it was the main “thing” needed for that position. The situation had disaster written all over it.

Yet when I showed the owner the mismatches, his comment was, “We can make it work.” So for the next 4 months, we tried. At the end, I was being called some colourful names at times and we both agreed he needed to hire a qualified manager for the position.

The point of all this is that whether starting or working in a business, we each have a particular style when it comes to approaching business. Like my business immigrants, sometimes the mismatch is simply because you don’t have any experience and you shouldn’t be doing the work. Period.

In most cases, the mismatch occurs around the types of tasks and the behavioral styles the position requires.

The Job Style Indicator helps you prioritize the types of tasks and the behavioral styles required in a position. Although an important addition to the job selection process, performance improvement, and career planning, the JSI is only one part of the hiring and/or development procedure. You must completely define the needs of the job and/or role and the job's requisite skills, competencies, experience, and education requirements.

The JSI can assist you to do the following.

  • Determine the required work style of a current/potential position, job, or responsibility.
  • Understand how other team members see the work style requirements for that position or role.
  • Identify the behavioral style of the responsibilities of a new venture or business opportunity.
  • Provide a roadmap to match each person's preferred work style and work environment to help the individual more intentionally select the best job, role, and/or career.
  • Use the JSI with any of CRG's style assessments to determine work style compatibility. They include the Personal Style Indicator, Quick Style Indicator, Sales Style Indicator, Entrepreneurial Style and Success Indicator, and Instructional Style Indicator.
  • Increase team performance through the shifting of work roles and responsibilities to better reflect team members' job-fit.
  • Reduce staff turnover and work-related stress levels.
  • Develop plans for work style flexibility and improved role-effectiveness.

Back to the opening questions . . .

1.    If you are feeling frustration at work, I suggest you stop what you are doing, proceed to the online version of the JSI, and complete the questions, based on your current job position. When you compare the JSI scores to your PSI scores, you may discover why you are feeling frustrated.

2.    If you are frustrated with one of your employees and his or her work, I suggest you complete a JSI based upon that person’s job position and have the individual complete a PSI.
Then compare the two scores. If there is a large gap among any of the four dimensions, you may have discovered what is creating some of the frustration. There’s a good chance it’s not about “a bad or incompetent” person—simply someone who is not sitting in the right seat based upon the job’s tasks and style requirements.

Frustration in work is something we bring on ourselves when we feel we don’t have control of the situation, person, task, or circumstance. The best place to start in reducing that frustration is to become educated about the person and the position in question.

Stop being frustrated.
Start being empowered.

Take the JSI today.

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