The Employee speaks:
As I sit down for yet another pointless meeting to discuss issues of 'great importance' headed by your 'messengers', I look around the room and recognise the same bemused expressions etched on the faces of my colleagues. Others have the distinct air of bored indifference. A minuscule percentage - and really about 2% of those present, even in purely statistical terms - look hopeful that perhaps this time the problems would be resolved.
From experience, I know that nothing would be achieved and that this meeting, pushed on by you, the Management, to give a semblance of actually wanting our grievances solved, would end the same way. We would first be told that our suggestions would be taken 'under advisement'. (Who even talks that way anymore?). Then the minutes of the meeting would be emailed to us, (which might only be read by that 2%), and the issues of 'great importance' would be shelved until the next inconsequential meeting.
Much ado about nothing.
And I for one have stopped caring about, or believing, what you, the Management state or promise that you would do.
Never mind that I work in sales. Co-workers in other departments have similar problems and behind closed doors, during lunches and other 'breaks', we have discussed our issues and have realised that there are several things Management is doing wrong, and has been, for a long time. But we cannot be bothered any more.
I too have stopped caring and here's why:
1) You have shown us that you are incapable of listening
And I mean really listening and understanding our concerns. Not trying to manipulate, coerce or mandate. Not appearing to listen in meetings, such as this one, and then taking no action afterwards. Or worse still: not even pretending to listen.
I understand that your company is in the business to make money, otherwise it would be bankrupt and I would have no job. I also understand that realistically, not every suggestion or demand we make could be implemented. But credit us with some common sense: we make job-related suggestions in order to become more effective in our roles, so as to increase productivity for you.
You really should keep your ego aside and acknowledge that you do not know it all. You refuse to listen to sound advice that would take your company to greater heights, so frankly why should I care? It's not my family business!
Let's not even talk about my inter-personal complaints, below-industry-average compensation and lack of any organisational support. No, let's not go there...
2) You deliberately deceive and give false hopes
Initially you had said that if my performance reviews were consistently excellent for two consecutive years, that I would be promoted to X position and be given additional perks. That did not happen.
Next, you promised cash incentives to my entire sales unit based on record-breaking sales figures for last quarter, (for which you the Management cannot take the credit as I have been fortunate to work with extraordinary and self-motivated team members). That did not happen either and you have conveniently forgotten the declaration.
Then you convened several meetings to discuss the details for doling out mortgage plans with very low interest rates for select achievers. I would not hold my breath for that as well.
So I cannot trust anything you say and I would now desist from going the extra mile to get the results you desire. In fact, I think I can speak for virtually everyone in sales: we would henceforth do the absolute minimum so as not to be fired. You go do the grunt work yourselves. Good luck with that by the way.
You are not credible so I cannot trust you, defend you or boost your reputation. In fact, I do not wish to be associated with you, beyond the corridors of your company.
Maybe you would learn from the insight of famous playwright/poet/historical novelist, Sir Walter Scott:
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive".
Now I know that you, the powers that be, would prefer to feign ignorance about the numerous complaints made about some of your managers.
You have received official and unofficial complaints. You have heard 'whispers' about how Mr. Q delays re-imbursements of our allowances; how he cuts corners and how he orders some of the sales staff to adopt unethical measures to increase sales, (amid effective threats). You are aware of the fact that when such unethical measures are unsuccessful, Mr. Q refuses to take responsibility and even denies his involvement.
I know for a fact that because Mr. Q is in your 'inner circle', he is shielded from serious repercussions. And there are other managers in the technical and customer service units, who at best, are incompetent. You run this company like the Mafia!
We have all understood—and not just my sales unit—that those weak managers, supervisors and unit heads, would not be removed, regardless of the fact that it makes practical business sense to get rid of them. But why should I care? At the rate your company is being run, I'd give it six months, before it begins to haemorrhage vital staff. I can guarantee you that by then, you would lose, at the very least, your brilliant talents in the sales and technical units. You really do not realise or appreciate their worth, do you? They are all being secretly recruited, interviewed and offered jobs by your competitors; I included.
I know you had once stated, with the confidence of the cat guaranteed its daily cream, that we could all be replaced. But good luck with trying to attract, (and retain), top talents when word gets out about how you treat your employees.
And I would of course sing like a canary when I get out.
4) You are invisible, inaccessible and completely out of touch with reality
Apart from seeing your picture in the newspapers or reading about your achievements as a business mogul or being 'educated' about your generous donations to different causes, you as the CEO, are inaccessible, invisible and completely clueless about the daily reality of your employees. (By the way, these charitable endeavours are championed at the same time our salaries are slashed or perks cut, to recoup the 'losses' suffered by your company because we did not meet your unrealistic targets).
You listen only to those in your 'inner circle' who have vested interests and who really do not care about your company but enjoy riding the tide of your favour. If you wanted puppets, surely you could afford many inexpensive ones? It amuses me that you think in the long-term, your company would evolve with such well-fed parasites on your payroll.
You also forget something very important: money may buy you people, but only for a season, and not the calibre which would transform your company from the average to the admirable. Perhaps you should get off your high horse and read Jim Collins' eye-opener of a bestseller "Good to Great" and maybe you would get it - without good people, you are finished. Your company is on a downward slope. It may not be evident now but soon, even you—the founder/CEO/visionary or whatever title you have selected for yourself—would wake up from your slumber.
Good luck to you when you do wake up to face the repercussions. I won't be here anyway so that won't be my problem.
In the final analysis...
The voices of your 'messengers', as they reel out detailed nothings about their plans for improvement, jolt me out of my musings, signalling the end of the meeting.
I look around the room once again. Excluding that 2%, who we humourously term the 'eternal optimists' in our lunch-breaks, we are going through the routines. Some, who had been conducting full conversations on their smartphones and other devices since the beginning of the meeting, reluctantly turn their attention back to your 'messengers'.
So in the final analysis, I am just marking time in your company. In fact, I have 'checked out' mentally.
Until you, the founder/CEO/visionary, become more open to suggestions from your employees, until you change your company culture and replace ineffective and unethical managers, your company will fail to re-invent itself and would soon become irrelevant in the industry.
But you are clueless about that as well. And that is why you'd lose us all...
Blow off steam below. Feel free to vent
So what do you think about this article? Kindly share your views.
If you are a disgruntled employee, we would love to hear your thoughts, so please post your comments. We promise - you won't get in trouble :-)
N.B- Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net. First animation courtesy of gifgifs.com. Second animation courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.