Cut Through the Red Tape
Transformation Magazine|November 2020
Eight tips for satisfaction in a bureaucratic work environment.
Kamladevi Sharma

Red-tape environments, or bureaucratic environments, are still prominent in many businesses and governments all over the world today. Coined in 1864 by Max Weber, the model can be undoubtedly relied upon for its administrative benefits of:

• structured duties and responsibilities that prevent overlap,

• standard rules and procedures for consistent employee behaviors,

• systems and processes for transparency and accountability and,

• improved performance for employees who specialize in their jobs.

This model of a clear hierarchy is ideal if you want to ensure the ease and flow of your business, and to achieve its overall goals and objectives. However, it can also be argued that the robotic nature of the bureaucratic model can impinge on your sense of self in the process.

Unfortunately, the red-tape and paperwork can be overwhelming to deal with, the time for decisions to be taken for unpredictable outcomes can be frustrating, and you can easily feel as if you do not belong to where you are with the level of impersonality present. Certainly, your mental, emotional and even physical well-being feels the brunt of a bureaucratic environment if you are unable to manage yourself effectively.

Nonetheless, the bureaucratic model is what it is and, looking at it realistically, it will not change based on your negative emotional responses if you feel victimized by it. So what are the options available to you if you’re “growing” in a red-tape environment? How can you feel satisfied while still experiencing a high level of bureaucracy in your daily life?

SATISFACTION VIA A GROWTH MINDSET

Carol Dweck’s teachings on a growth mindset over the years has had significant impact on people’s ability to revive from setbacks in all aspects of their life. The belief that failure is temporary and people’s intelligence can improve with consistent learning has taken an upswing at many universities and now sets the stage for success at achieving one’s life goals. Applying the unique teachings of this level of mindset to enhance an employee’s growth in a bureaucratic model can be challenging; however, it is definitely worth the effort for the mental, emotional and physical well-being that can be achieved. As an employee, you can create and amplify the momentum for this in the following ways:

1. Remember your “why.”

Why are you doing what you are doing? Why have you applied for your specific job, and what do you intend to achieve from it?

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