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Things that make you go: Hmmm....

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Bleed Out - A pattern of workplace antics
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Everyonce in a while companies seem to go through cleansing of the staff. A time period when one person leaves, then another, then another. Sometime 30%-75% of the staff may leave.

What causes this fallout?

Usually some of the staff have become disgruntled about soemthing that they have observed. It may be the handling of internal promotions or the failure to give spot-bonuses or the failure to give raises comensurate with the experience and salary band that an industry professional falls within.

Recently I have observed this happen for all of the above reasons. Within a company that lives on "process management", they stepped outside of process to promote an internal employee. It is not that anyone actually objected to the promotion of the particular individual, but that process wasn't followed. This was very disturbing for some.

I know of individuals within the organization that have performed their work so well that management has stated that those individuals will NEVER be moved from their current roles. Yet, at the same time, those individuals are being told that their position falls into a certain pay scale band. So these individuals, despite their ever expanding skill set, will never get promoted, never get a reasonable increase in pay, and will remain in their current role for the duration of their employment.

Another individual was offered a cut in his pay and a demotion so he could focus on school. He quit on the spot - who could blame him.

Sometimes I wonder what goes through the mind of upper management. Do they really see us all with asset tags firmly stapled to our foreheads? A number to be counted. A number to produce more numbers. A number to fill a quota. A number to fill a seat. No moral attachment. No personal relationship. No personal responsibility.

Staffing costs money. The recruiter that brings in the new hire replacement will get a percentage of the persons' salaries. How much more does that cost versus giving that trained current employee a decent raise.

I had an employer once give me a 3.5% increase when cost of living went up 7%. I called that manager on the carpet for it. He was shocked that I put those numbers together so fast. My net buying power for that year went down 3.5%, not up. Suprisingly, my position there changed overnight. I got moved into an office as a bean counter for 6 months (Plus an additional raise).

The market that I work in suffered horrible company failures over the last 5-6yrs. It is still in recovery. But I still do not understand why a company will hire someone off the street for 30% more than someone already on staff. If they had given a merit increase to the current staff memeber that was comensurate with current salary offerings, they would still have that skilled member of their team.

Management sometimes loses site of the fact that the market that was in a slump will cycle itself back out. As jobs become more plentiful, salaries increase. When a current staff memeber gets a minimalist increase at review, then checks current salary rates for his position and finds himself substandard, expect that employee to researchand act upon this information.

Even I have been contacted by several recuiters over the last few weeks for positions that offer significantly more compensation than I am currently at. Despite pats on that back and consistantly excellent reviews, I find myself tempted by the golden apple. Especially with a large family to support. Somehow I keep hoping that, somehow, my employer will see the cost of losing me versus the cost of keeping me and choose to give me a raise that is significant enough to make a difference and put my salary in a catagory that is comensurate with my skills and experience that I bring to the table.

The pattern I have seen tells me this will not happen though. It is far more likely that my employer will hire someone else with less skill and less experience to replacement at 40% more money, that for me to get a raise for 30% more. It is likely that the bleedout pattern of oneman, then another and another will continue.

A new team will develop, a new group who will experience the same things. They will continue the pattern. And in a couple of years a new team after that will follow. All with ever increasing salary demands. What is the final cost? Stress? Money? Customer Satisfaction? Market place stability? Eventually, it becomes Market Place viability.

The bottom line is this:

The customer. If they don't see stability, then will go elsewhere. If they don't get the service they are accustomed to, they will go elsewhere. If they don't get that smiling friendly face that they had grown with, they will go elsewhere. The customer's needs and comfortability must be met, or the customer will go elsewhere.

Just like the staff....