The Culture of Entitlement

“I have been here for 7 years and I deserve to promoted to this (leadership/management) position” said the indignant team member.

The problem was she had never worked harder or longer to complete difficult or urgent tasks, always saying it was 5pm and she had been there since exactly 8am.

She had meticulously taken all the sick leave, holidays and other specified benefits that her role entitled her to.

She had never done anything more or less than was specifically asked of her.

She had never volunteered to help out when things were tough.

She was always the first to complain when things weren’t working.

She resented having to adapt to changing conditions.

When asked why she felt she should be promoted, her answer was “I’ve been here longer than most and I know my job really well, and I deserve to be recognised for that.”

When it was explained that she was indeed recognised for being able to do her job and that’s why she still had it, she became even more indignant.

When asked how she could demonstrate that she cared for her team members, she said “I’m not here to care for them, I’m here to do my job”.

When she was asked “What do you think are the reasons why people should be promoted to leadership/management roles?”, her answer was “As a reward for doing their job well.”

When another team member was promoted instead of her, she appealed the decision and when it was shown that her team member had:

  • regularly given discretionary effort,
  • helped others in difficult times,
  • demonstrated that she cared and was competent,
  • was willing to adapt to changing conditions, and
  • saw the role as an opportunity to serve and help her team be more effective and enjoy their work,

the disgruntled member resigned to the not so secret joy of everyone.

However, the cost of replacing her, for a short while, had a significant negative impact on the team’s productivity and their morale.

What are the root causes of this attitude?

How do we deal with it?

I’d love to hear your response.