Work is not democracy.


And certainly not a replacement for family or friends. Unless you have extremely dysfunctional family/friends.
Depending on the company culture, it can have all shades of a dictatorship, sometimes kleptocracy, even a regime of terror.

During executive coaching, I meet many CEOs of small to middling companies, mostly startups, and I will pass on an observation that is supported by nothing but my experiences.

Once a company reaches a critical mass, it becomes uncontrollable. Instead of management, a system of controlling and bureaucracy takes over on the one hand, lobbying and politics as external factors and the tax office and accounting/auditing as the new imperative.

The most successful of these CEOs were objective and calculating and ruthless (though they were probably good parents, spouses, and friends when not at work), personally driven to achieve their goals. They counted worker satisfaction pretty far down in their priority list, and thought of workers mainly in terms of their job functions. In a couple extreme cases, I felt that I was talking to a borderline sociopath. I’m not criticizing them — these were the qualities that made their businesses successful.

But I’m also mindful that workers who were unhappy in that atmosphere had an alternative: to find a new job that suited them better. But it seems many employees tend to develop some kind of a Stockholm Syndrome towards their tormentors. Yes, a study showed that a third of “management” can be considered as a tormentor.

The company becomes an anonymous gray mass that is no longer controlled but just tries to survive.
Companies then no longer invest in the future but rather their strategy is sewn on the edge.
Resources – usually financial resources, a budget or time – are so limited that something can just about be achieved.

Due to sharply rising costs, companies are in alarm mode and it is of last importance whether an employee is a few points more or less productive or satisfied because they have a job with or without a work-life balance. For some companies it is purely about survival.

The most underestimated economic danger at the moment: the dip in innovation that arises in the crisis. Even companies that survive will need a lot of resources to ensure their survival. Money that is then missing for investments in the future. Especially since the money generated is passed on to the shareholders.
Let’s take my favorite example, the automotive industry. Permanently complaining and demanding subsidies.
BMW Group has 149,475 employees. These make $159.50bln USD revenue.
This means Revenue per Employee is here over $1mio USD.
Carmakers’ Revenue per Employee
If you know the salary structures there and how “generous” the management sees itself, this lack of appreciation for the ones that really work becomes even clearer.