The first floor
“Congratulations on your promotion! Now you finally belong to the lucky few!” is the text on a note that is waiting impatiently on a keyboard until the addressee reads it somewhat indignantly.
Eyes pierce her back, but as soon as she turns around, the entire department is supposedly working hard. She was told at the end of last week that she would be moving to the first floor of the building due to the acceptance of a new position. A deadly sin, according to “the club” on the ground floor.
Because upstairs are the managers, “everything” is determined upstairs. Upstairs is for the pushers, the butt kissers and the ruthless career hunters.
Employees of the North building have a different opinion, they see the entire clan in the South building (where the management is located) as the privileged part of the organization. They also have a name “Southerners”. If you are a Southerner, you have an easy life.
The South building is the building where all festivities take place, from the Friday afternoon drinks, to the quarterly meetings, to the summer barbecue. The North Building is only a “work location”. But the Northerners are extremely proud of this. A possible “move” to the South building is therefore seen as betrayal.
Elsewhere in the country
At a branch elsewhere in the country people have heard of the consternation, but have little understanding of this. Finally, both the North building and the South building are connected to a different, much more attractive collective labour agreement (so no reason to complain).
By the way, it is also much more relaxed to work at a remote location. We still bring each other coffee and we know the cleaning lady by name. A few months ago there was a colleague who had accepted a job in “Walhalla” (as we call the place where the North and South building are located). “He really doesn’t have to come back anymore!”
This story is going around at a Shared Service Centre abroad. Weird boys, those Dutch people… wonderful country to live in, excellent salaries, extraordinary secondary employment conditions and all the necessary provisions you could ever wish for. And still whining…
No, not a country for me. We here in the Shared Service Centre have a great life, we take care of each other and never let anyone down, unless…
Escape from group pressure is no easy task, it requires courage, perseverance, fearlessness and above all belief in yourself.
Always try to be aware of the pressure that a group can put on you, whether it is a department or has a more cross-border nature. Awareness is the basis for intervention.
…and if a fantastic opportunity arises on the first floor of the South building, take your disappointed colleagues for granted. After all, success and envy are inextricably linked.
Keep your eyes and ears open! Keep innovating! Keep changing!
Do you want advice about breaking through negative group dynamics? Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org, or +31 (0) 6 3950 5640.