Although it was just a temp job for 28-year-old Ellen*, she loved it immediately at the upbeat government office. Her administrative assistant tasks were varied and interesting, and the responsibilities were shared among a team of three. Her colleagues seemed happy and confident and they had a lot of fun. They got their work done, but there was still time to joke around. This down-to-earth atmosphere suited Ellen to a tee; she thrived. Nine years later, Ellen still loves her workplace. She has seen three office managers come and go, all of them likeable. Each manager a unique management style, but only one of them had a positive impact on her productivity. In the end, it was the manager’s own goals that made the difference.
*names have been changed
Manager Number One: The Boss
Tall and thin, perhaps even stately, manager number one could be imposing. He wasn’t above joining in the occasional bout of rowdiness, like a water fight in the hall. They played a lot of practical jokes in those days; like the time the group moved a sofa from a neighbouring department and used it to block a colleague’s cubicle. Ellen didn’t find The Boss had much impact on her professional existence. He simply didn’t have a lot of interest; he’d say “hey” on his way past their workstations, and told them to let him know if they needed anything. Basically, he left Ellen alone to do her job, which Ellen did efficiently, leaving plenty of time for emails and online shopping.