The Employee speaks
I suppose I have myself to blame.
I was warned by a few good people that coming into your company would be the quickest route to career sabotage.
Nevertheless, I tried to analyse their experiences and justify my decision. After all, I had always prided myself about being a rational and practical being.
I am even-tempered, professional in all my duties and above all, reliable. When I was interviewed, I am sure all the relevant boxes were ticked.
Knowledgeable about the role with a verifiable track record?
Glowing references and recommendations?
Analytical mind with excellent teamwork skills?
Proactive leadership? Good communication and presentation skills? Strong IT awareness with the 'big picture' focus?
Tick. Tick. Check. Check.
I listened to your 'messengers' during the interview with rapt attention, paying attention to what they declared and more importantly, listening to what they didn't say. I asked all the right questions about your company's culture, the career development plans, the employee relations' history, the compensation package etc. Armed with over two decades of consummate experience in various managerial roles, I had a realistic picture of your company and thought that I would be a perfect 'fit' for your organisation.
I was completely wrong.
Barely two months later and I have realised that I made a serious mistake by accepting your now too-good-to-be-true offer.
However, all hope isn't lost. Being the ultimate realist, I took a four-month leave of absence at my previous job to test the waters at your company. So I only have to endure working for you for two more months.
You of course are not aware of this plan and frankly speaking, I couldn't care less about you. What I have noticed about you, the Management is inexcusable:
1) You set unrealistic targets and threaten staff who cannot meet them
Being a sales professional my entire career and having held both associate and managerial positions, I am amazed that you have not adopted the recommendations made by your staff.
Firstly, they suggested selling at a pegged price in low-performing regions to remain competitive, which you turned down, declaring that it was your company and you knew better.
Then they suggested granting concessions or rewards to your loyal clients/dealers who record the highest sales volumes. Again, you scorned their sound advice.
Having discussed with your clients on several occasions, I can guarantee you that they would not remain loyal for very long. They have been threatening to take their business elsewhere and now, I would simply encourage them to do so.
Now pray tell - how do you expect your staff to sell a volume worth USDXmillion at an astronomical price of USDY per unit, when your rivals are selling at almost a quarter of the price? Your products are not superior to theirs!
And what is all this nonsense about summoning your sales staff to headquarters towards the end of each month to threaten them with sacks, demotions and salary-slashes if they fail to meet 80% of their targets?
So if you are willing to accept 80% of the target as revenue, already translating to USDXbillion nationwide, as profit after tax, why even state that all regions must attain 100% of their targets?
It all does not make any sense.
2) You are not a credible leader
Even your most loyal 'henchmen' would abandon ship when it all comes crashing down.
And it will, sooner or later.
Surely you must have observed that your company has been 'dethroned' and relegated to the fourth position for two consecutive years.
Now that I am an insider, I found out that this decline occurred during the period you increased targets to unattainable levels, sacked people indiscriminately and slashed salaries.
You have failed to realise that disillusioned and unhappy staff has cost you significantly in a dented corporate reputation, mediocre performance and lost productivity. This reality check would not go down well with your investors. How would you explain your actions, the disappointing figures and paltry dividends to them?
Moreover, because you are neither respected nor trusted, you have lost exceptional talent to your competitors. It may surprise you to note that these 'renegade' ex-employees are now excelling in their new roles, nurtured by empathetic cultures, sound corporate structures, consistent organisational support and crucial training - basically all the facets your company lacks.
We have also heard rumours of unethical practices carried out by your 'inner circle' with your full approval.
You lack integrity and I don’t wish to continue employment in such a toxic environment.
3) You do not care about your employees
Your employees do not even have free basic healthcare!
Now this is just plain wrong.
I heard that you made a feeble attempt to provide medical cover for your staff and their families via a private healthcare provider. They were initially surprised you had made the effort. However, three months after the scheme began, it was discontinued due to complaints from your healthcare partner that you, the Management, reneged on the business agreement.
Old habits die hard I suppose.
You haven't even bothered to resolve the conflict, nor have you provided your staff with an alternative medical cover.
It all boils down to you not being concerned about the welfare of your employees.
The stories get worse.
I also heard that there is no genuine support, emotional or otherwise, for bereaved staff, apart from a few superficial declarations of condolences and a relatively brief period to "attend to private matters".
Likewise, those who fall ill are automatically regarded with the suspicion that they feign their ill health to avoid work. So they often return to the office, clearly unfit for work, just to avoid queries. Not surprisingly, the stress levels trigger further ill health.
Given that you treat your employees as commodities and not real people, I am not surprised that you continue to lose them in droves.
And I am no exception as I plan to leave very soon.
I may have believed you during the interview that working for you would be a rewarding experience but the scales quickly fell from my eyes.
I don't believe that you deserve a formal notice for my exit. I intend to simply quit, and yes, in the middle of that all-important rollout project.
True, I would forfeit a month's salary in lieu of my sudden departure but money isn't everything.
Not only would I gladly return to my previous job but I would derive some joy in leaving you stranded until my position is filled.
And I promise you that I would discourage everyone I know from working for you.
So good luck with trying to attract and retain new talent of my calibre in the future.
You may recall that a poll was placed on this blog a few months ago, requesting that viewers should vote for their favourite topics from a list of four themes. Below are the results.
As can be seen, “Management-related posts” were preferred, so we shall endeavour to tie in more articles of this theme to the overall focus of communications.
For all who voted – thank you for taking out the time to do so.
For those who didn’t – please try to participate in future polls. Remember our goal is to enrich your reading experience on this blog, while continuing to provide practical and useful information.
What other tales of woe can you share as an employee? Do post your comments below, anonymously if you prefer.
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N.B– First image courtesy of Pakorn, via freedigitalphotos.net. Second, third and fourth images courtesy of Jesadaphorn, via freedigitalphotos.net. Fifth image courtesy of Stuart Miles, via freedigitalphotos.net. Image of poll results supplied by author.