The zombie at work: the fault of the worker or the company?

The zombie at work: the fault of the worker or the company?

The zombie at work is found in any professional scenario. We recognize them instantly because they always seem very busy, whereas in reality they are only delegating responsibilities to others. They are inefficient, do not work as a team. On the other hand, they know how to gain the trust of superiors to create environments as toxic as they are unproductive in which they survive to perfection.

We must add an additional term to all the terminology of work referring to the world of organizations: the working dead or zombie at work.We might think that this label corresponds to employees who work a large number of hours and who are gradually automated by this excess of tasks, low motivation and low recognition or renumbering.

There is, however, a clear difference between overworked workers and those who simply walk around the enterprise pretending to do something: productivity. Some consider this low performance to be based primarily on the zombie's low commitment to work. Those who have analyzed this type of behavior nevertheless pose another question.Why do businesses keep this type of profile?

It should be noted that we do not refer exclusively to civil servants in the public administration. We talk about all thosewho settle in offices, services, universities, factories and any type of business where they survive asof the rara opinion.How do they do ? What strategies and characteristics define them?

"The zombie at work is lazy and has few skills, yet he manages to survive as a person in any job because he earns the trust of his superiors and does not particularly attract attention, despite being this element that sometimes intoxicates the environment by its presence. "
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The zombie at work, how to recognize it?

A Gallup survey was conducted in 2004 to evaluate the involvement of various companies in the United States and Europe. The results revealed something that experts have already defined as a "cultural and commercial crisis".

Nearly 64% of employees say they do not feel engaged in their work or with the goals of the organization. The only goal is to fill their workday and receive a salary. According to them, this is due to the low recognition of their values ​​and the bad relationship with middle or senior managers.

Of the remaining 36%, 15% are what we call zombies at work. Companies know their existence. Many see them as "bad apples" (elements of the organization that transmit low productivity). Others, on the other hand, understand that it is common to have them in the professional stratum, that it is impossible to do otherwise.

Kevin Daum, renowned writer, business specialist and columnist at Smart Business Magazine, defines the zombie at work as a neglected profile to which more attention should be paid. The'entreprishe herself often forgets that this type of person is the one who interferes the most in productivity and in the good atmosphere in the workplaceHere are its main features.

The 5 traits of the zombie at work

  • The one who leaves before work: he always succeeds, even if he has not finished the day's work with calm and joviality. He is also proud of his attitude, assuming that his behavior is acceptable.
  • Love for gossip:Here is perhaps one of his main motivations at work: to know the gossip, to feed them and to give them away.
  • He who always brings back the negative beginnings: the zombie at work has the ability to know everything when it has a negative component: reductions, problems, sanctions …
  • No time problems:this profile, so common in professional organizations, has no problem of time. He is always late, takes longer breaks than normal and does not hesitate to leave before.
  • Without aspirations:the zombie at work is not devoid of talent or skill. However, it lacks aspirations. His only goal is to survive the work and let the time pass. This attitude, that ofdo nothing in the morning and put it clean in the afternoon ", confuses others and makes them uncomfortable, being a disruptive home for the entire environment.

Why do businesses allow zombies to work?

We emphasized it at the beginning. The presence of the zombie at work is common in any job, in the public and private sectors. What is this permissiveness due to when it is a figure that can sometimes serve as a model for others? It should first be noted thatnot all companies allow the continuity of this type of behavior which in the long run is detrimental to the image and productivity of organizations.

A large part of our professional environment, however, contains these profiles. The cause of this reality can result from two very specific factors:

  • Businesses do not always have professional performance identification systems. In addition, not all team leaders pay attention to this. Most zombies at work are friendly to everyone and rarely cause conflict directly.
  • The second aspect can be a little more disturbing. Whenthe manager himself is another zombie at work. While this may be hard to believe, the professional world is full of people who advocate for functionality, not innovation. They prefer docile people who do not cause problems, who limit themselves to "being", who do not protest, who generate no ideas, or changes.

To conclude. Whether we like it or not, the zombie at work will exist as long as the policies do not change. As long as there is no real commitment to efficiency and the real appreciation of each worker's skills. EIn the meantime, let us avoid being infected by this virus, by this attitude.


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