On the culture of work

This article was actually started in May 2007 and i revisited it several times.

I like reading the problem parts in both Al Ahram and Al Akhbar, one of the letters drew my attention to an attitude towards work, the contract and its perpetuity. It is something that has been reinforced for more than 50 years ever since the July 52 coups when the new military regime opted for socialism. House rental contracts became for life and passed from generation to generation, work contracts became for life.

Labor laws reinforced such principle even with the shift towards an open market, perpetuity of contract remained a major hurdle against the free market orientation.

Being smart, Egyptian work owners started thinking of creative ways to protect themselves from being stuck for life with inefficient employees by signing a contract and a blank resignation. It is this practice that has ruined the mutual trust between employers and employees, a relationship that did not recover yet, everyone is suspicious about the other, while the employer thinks that employees want benefits without responding to their duties, employees see that employers are exploitative heartless persons who want to squeeze them till the last drop then get rid of them.


Today the perpetuity of the contract is so deeply rooted with us that an employee feels threatened when he signs a temporary contract he/she feels that at any moments he/she will be replaced. It is this same feeling expressed in a letter in Al Akhbar of May 18 that made me write about the issue.


Taking the part of organization I can express a different perspective no organization ever got rid of a valuable staff member one that contributes to the success of the organization, however organizations will not keep a staff member who is a burden. It is a matter of cost benefit analysis, each employee should work in a way that makes his salary, no matter how much, justifiable.


One day while surfing on Netscape I found the following 10 comments, this piece was entitled 10 Ways to Get Blacklisted at Work:

  1. Embarrass, insult or argue relentlessly with your manager.
  2. Say negative things about your employer or its mission every chance you get.
  3. Be at the top of your pay range without providing added value.
  4. Take the work-life balance credo too far
  5. Complain to HR about your boss or co-workers without first trying to work it out directly.
  6. Use HR as a confessional for personal or professional problems.
  7. Make a highly visible mistake.
  8. Use your boss or co-worker as a therapist.
  9. Tell your colleagues that you’re planning on taking maternity or family leave — or filing for workers compensation — before telling your boss.
  10. Don’t bother to bond with your new boss or colleagues.

To complement the above view behavior number 3 is important because from a business perspective, the ideal employee is one who is competent, shows potential for growth and is near the middle or bottom of the pay range. If his/her pay falls high in the range, he/she should ensure that they giving their employer its money’s worth!



A new culture is needed that focuses on output every employee through his performance buys his/her contract perpetuity such perpetuity is guaranteed by two factors the growth of the organization its sustainability on one side and the staff performance on the other side.

One of the says that I believe in is there is no free meals, which translate here there are no rights without duties.

As I pointed out in a previous posts, performance at work is double faceted one facet is output and the other is relations with superiors, colleagues and peers, and subordinates, so no one can get away with one side alone performance cannot be an excuse for not coping with colleagues and vice versa good positive relations cannot be n excuse for low performance


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