Tag Archives: Office Politics

Office Politics Strategies: Maintaining an Underachieving Workforce

promising employee

 Office Politics Strategies: Maintaining an Underachieving Workforce

As a bad boss, I like underperformers in my department. They make me look like I am the only one who is capable of leading the pack. Therefore, maintaining an underachieving workforce is one of my main jobs. Promoting underachievers makes me look even better (when they fail). When a promotion comes around, I find that promoting an underachiever is in my best interest. Never promote a promising employee as they may become competition for you in the future. It’s an office politics strategy.

The promising employee gives me a bit of a challenge. A promising employee is one who shows great potential to successfully make it big time within the organization.

They are the star performers. They just do their jobs faster and more effectively. There is really nothing wrong with them but they are a source of endless headache, stress, and sleepless nights for me.

Since day one as a bad boss, I knew that my very existence in the organization depended on identifying and neutralizing the promising employees. Like a hawk scouting for its prey, I can spot a promising employee a mile away.  I can smell, hear, and see a promising employee long before anyone in the organization does.

Fortunately for me, most promising employees are the innocent ones too, hence they easily fall prey to my neutralizing tactics. My neutralizing techniques are quite simple, but prove very effective in handling promising employees.

Neutralizing Promising Employees:

  • “That is what I was thinking”.  Always automatically utter this sentence to the promising employee whenever the subject comes up to discuss a new idea. You may never know anything about the new idea but this solves that problem. It covers your ignorance up by saying that the idea is nothing new with a disinterested look.
  • “I have a job for you, which I am supposed to do, but I can’t at the moment”. – Give the promising employee a job which they are not comfortable doing. These are prone to fail: an unpopular assignment, an office politics maneuvering move, a balancing act, or anything with an uncertain consequence. In addition, if the promising employee fails then it is just the employee’s fault and too bad for him because it was a test. If however, the employee succeeds, then take credit as the one in charge.
  • “Great work!” – Always privately praise the promising employee but never in public or officially. A bad boss should do these very discreetly. It should never be reflected in any award, public praise, promotion, or salary increase. This is cheaper and safer for the big boss’ hiney.
  • “I can’t rate you perfect even if you are as per the evaluation tool because you will have no more room for improvement.” – Tell the promising employee during his or her performance evaluation that a perfect rate could just not be given. Giving a perfect rating to the promising employee would not be realistic because no one is perfect.
  • “You are not yet ready and you still have a lot to learn.” – Always make the promising employee doubtful of him or herself. A bad boss makes the promising employee feel inadequate and lacking. Neutralize the potential of the promising employee to the extent that he or she will not be encouraged to bravely meet success.
  • “I am sorry but I have to let you go.” – Know when it is time to fire a promising employee. When all else fails and the promising employee just keeps on succeeding, then it’s time to say goodbye.  Despite the hard work and efforts of a promising employee, at the end of the day if it will make you feel insecure in any way then it’s the highway for the promising employee.

The moral of the story is simple. A bad boss hates promising employees. For the bad boss this makes him or her look inadequate and outmoded. If you were in the bad boss’ shoes you will certainly feel insecure. As a result, the bad boss will huff and puff and blow the promising employee down.

 Underachiever is Promoted over Hard Worker due to Office Politics:

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are mean to be humorous and should not be taken seriously.