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Old 07-30-2015, 11:55 AM
 
4 posts, read 8,593 times
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Why do people do the bare minimum at work?
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Because they can. They are not thinking long term and the job isn't that important to them.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:21 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Because they are lazy and dishonest, taking money for work they are not doing. They want a paycheck but don't want a job.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Path of least resistance.

There are various personality types. Some people are the sort that take an extreme amount of pride in their work and prioritize attention to detail, getting the best outcomes, accomplishing the most, receiving praise and recognition for same, and being noticed and rewarded. They are usually people who very much identify with being in some way defined by their accomplishments and professional undertakings. They are the ones who take a great deal of pride in being employee of the quarter, teacher of the year, having their accomplishments be written up in trade publications, etc. Some are content to do what is required and no more. They are typically people who do NOT have as much of their personal identity tied up in their work. They are also often people who, for various reasons, don't feel particularly compelled to go above and beyond for their employer. Some workplace overachievers do so, because there is something in it for them. If someone works in a workplace where going above and beyond is not likely to result in anything any different than if they do the bare minimum, there is little-to-no external incentive.

I would disagree with a previous poster that someone doing the bare minimum is being lazy or dishonest or taking money for work they are not doing. Doing the bare minimum required is still completing tasks as expected. It's not leaving work undone, lying, or cutting corners. It's just that, doing the minimum required. It's not doing less than the expectation, it's just seeing no reason to do MORE than the expectation. Slacking off and leaving work undone is something else entirely. That's not EVEN doing the bare minimum.

It is not every workplace where you are rewarded for going the extra mile. For those in such workplaces, they see that going above and beyond for their employer has no tangible benefit for them (no additional pay, no chance of promotion, no recognition, no appreciation, doesn't necessarily protect you from layoffs/the chopping block, whatever), and it becomes nonsensical to put in the additional effort, rather than just keep one's nose down and do what's expected and no more. It doesn't necessarily mean that the job isn't important to them. It may simply mean that it's a workplace culture that will not reward extra work or dedication in any meaningful way. And there are a lot of workplaces that are like that.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
29,739 posts, read 34,357,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
It is not every workplace where you are rewarded for going the extra mile. For those in such workplaces, they see that going above and beyond for their employer has no tangible benefit for them (no additional pay, no chance of promotion, no recognition, no appreciation, doesn't necessarily protect you from layoffs/the chopping block, whatever), and it becomes nonsensical to put in the additional effort, rather than just keep one's nose down and do what's expected and no more. It doesn't necessarily mean that the job isn't important to them. It may simply mean that it's a workplace culture that will not reward extra work or dedication in any meaningful way. And there are a lot of workplaces that are like that.
Hey, I used to work there! That's very true. It was my first job out of college and I was going to go above and beyond and be the best I could be and all that jazz. And, like you said, I learned quickly that there was no point in going the extra mile when the extra mile wasn't noticed or appreciated or rewarded. I did a good job on what was asked of me, but there was no reason to do any better.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:14 PM
 
335 posts, read 329,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Path of least resistance.

There are various personality types. Some people are the sort that take an extreme amount of pride in their work and prioritize attention to detail, getting the best outcomes, accomplishing the most, receiving praise and recognition for same, and being noticed and rewarded. They are usually people who very much identify with being in some way defined by their accomplishments and professional undertakings. They are the ones who take a great deal of pride in being employee of the quarter, teacher of the year, having their accomplishments be written up in trade publications, etc. Some are content to do what is required and no more. They are typically people who do NOT have as much of their personal identity tied up in their work. They are also often people who, for various reasons, don't feel particularly compelled to go above and beyond for their employer. Some workplace overachievers do so, because there is something in it for them. If someone works in a workplace where going above and beyond is not likely to result in anything any different than if they do the bare minimum, there is little-to-no external incentive.

I would disagree with a previous poster that someone doing the bare minimum is being lazy or dishonest or taking money for work they are not doing. Doing the bare minimum required is still completing tasks as expected. It's not leaving work undone, lying, or cutting corners. It's just that, doing the minimum required. It's not doing less than the expectation, it's just seeing no reason to do MORE than the expectation. Slacking off and leaving work undone is something else entirely. That's not EVEN doing the bare minimum.

It is not every workplace where you are rewarded for going the extra mile. For those in such workplaces, they see that going above and beyond for their employer has no tangible benefit for them (no additional pay, no chance of promotion, no recognition, no appreciation, doesn't necessarily protect you from layoffs/the chopping block, whatever), and it becomes nonsensical to put in the additional effort, rather than just keep one's nose down and do what's expected and no more. It doesn't necessarily mean that the job isn't important to them. It may simply mean that it's a workplace culture that will not reward extra work or dedication in any meaningful way. And there are a lot of workplaces that are like that.
Very good post. Obsession with employment has little to nothing to do with essential qualities of life. Inversely, lack of obsession with employment does not equal laziness (though I'm also not convinced laziness is a sin). Many remarkable people work at jobs to merely support their other passions. Other passions might include being involved in the arts, outdoors activities, charitable work and other things that don't normally provide for a career.

Work is overrated as a pursuit. Seriously. The whole concept as I frame it probably deserves its own thread.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:25 PM
 
714 posts, read 747,112 times
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Easy answer is that they feel that doing more won't get them a raise or bonus (which is often the case)--so why go above and beyond when it won't get you anywhere? In the vast majority of cases the person who does the bare minimum ends up in the same position as those who do a little more. OF COURSE this depends on the nature of the workplace and the role itself.

It's a job to get paid so you can live. If you don't have passion for it AND you aren't going to be rewarded for working harder, why go above the requirements?
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:30 PM
 
714 posts, read 747,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Because they are lazy and dishonest, taking money for work they are not doing. They want a paycheck but don't want a job.

They ARE doing the work (bare minimum means they are doing what's required of them, bot nothing extra). How is it lazy and dishonest to adhere to an agreement you made with an employer?

The workplace isn't giving them anything more than the wage that was agreed upon, why should the worker give more of their effort/time than was agreed upon?
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:37 PM
 
12,535 posts, read 15,195,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greater_Ninja View Post
Why do people do the bare minimum at work?
Because they aren't being paid to do more than that.

Let's be honest here: Employees going above and beyond in corporate America are rarely rewarded these days. If anything, they become the victim of "if you want something done, give it to a busy person," and efficiency is often punished by giving someone extra work.

If you want more out of your employees, then add more to their job descriptions. But complaining about them simply meeting the requirements of their jobs is silly.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Middle America
37,409 posts, read 53,543,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmorphicDN View Post
Very good post. Obsession with employment has little to nothing to do with essential qualities of life. Inversely, lack of obsession with employment does not equal laziness (though I'm also not convinced laziness is a sin). Many remarkable people work at jobs to merely support their other passions. Other passions might include being involved in the arts, outdoors activities, charitable work and other things that don't normally provide for a career.

Work is overrated as a pursuit. Seriously. The whole concept as I frame it probably deserves its own thread.
Well, I don't necessarily agree, either, that intersecting career identities and personal identities has to equal job obsession. I also think it's okay to love your work and think it's great when people are fortunate enough to have work that embodies their passion.

Some people are very motivated by their careers, and find a great deal of personal fulfillment in them. They may take the work they do very seriously, and their professional roles may factor heavily into their sense of self. This is often found in people who pursue heavily human services-related vocations, the sorts of people who ae more likely to identify the work they do as a "calling" than a "job." People who are firefighters, clergy, EMTs, social workers, crisis counselors, military, public health workers, etc. often have quite a bit of their personal ideals and identities invested in the type of work they do. People who are actually able to make a living in the arts are also similar.

It's not wrong or right to follow your passions into a job, just as it's not wrong or right to take a job that is strictly a means to an end, but isn't deeply personally meaningful. It depends entirely on what you want.
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