The group doing this has the same intention (to improve the employee's experience), but I have observed this is consistently at odds with the leadership's desire to keep employees at arm's length, and maintain the strategic control over employees.
For example, you can't be nice to employees and then lay them off at the same time- such an act instantly violates trust, therefore leaders say they want things to be better for employees but are often not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to follow through.
So then you get stuck in a conundrum, and the leaders look and often act like hypocrites. Employees do that too.
It's been an interesting time in this role, like I said, for me it was somewhat accidental and I can clearly see the arguments from both sides. Still working on it but, I'm not sure how you resolve some of these issues without the right attitude - that maybe we are not "leaders and employees", but that we are all "professional colleagues" - and then following through with the proper organizational supports and programs to help such an organization survive and operate, and still be able to compete.
You absolutely can and you must. Being professional and being nice are not exclusive. Quite the opposite.
A professional manager understands that being nice doesn't mean protecting someone from reality just because reality sucks. It means showing them respect during the process.
The lesser and lesser rights of employees is a power grab. Employees still needs to pay high rents, expensive mortgages, bring up kids and everything else. If anything that has become harder to do successfully by working.
I really don't think a lot of companies are going to come out favorably in hindsight if there is a downturn.
Is it 'unprofessional' to deceive your employees and customers or users? Is abusing the privacy of your users professional? Is it unprofessional to layoff workers for short term gains? Its definition itself is contextual to power and what it defines at that time. Individual bad behavior is not unprofessional, its just bad behavior.
If your boss needs to take into account the personal consequences on the employees they fire, then now employees have to start playing a bullshit game of convincing colleagues how precarious their personal situation is and how much stress and uncertainty is in their life and how their family depends on them. The stoic professionals who just get things done at work are effectively getting punished for focusing on delivering value to the business.
Like, I get it, professionalism definitely has downsides. It also has advantages. People know how things are going to work and can focus on things that are more relevant to the core business. It's a trade-off.
Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
Perform services only in areas of their competence.
Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
Avoid deceptive acts.
Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
Maybe we need a code of ethics for managers.
Entire forecast change when numbers are missed. People are also hired based off those numbers. Should we also not hire more employees when the out look is better?
Companies need to be healthy to continue to be able to employ at all. So yes. It is the duty to cut cost and maintain healthy balances based
off future expectations.
It would be far more dishonest to simply let the entire company fold effectively laying off everybody to prolong a subet of employees jobs for a little longer.
But beyond that it's rare that layoffs happen for a single quarter miss. And unless you are pure EBITA driven laying off probably won't make anybody looking for revenue groth happy either.
Companies are complex living organizations. The notion that laying people off is always bad is a bad notion.
Economic cycles are not a surprise, they happen, a company with enough resources can easily absorb them, use the down turn to double down on developing new products, and come out stronger on the other end.
Laying people off isn't always bad, but at least 80% of the time it's the wrong long term decision. You've spent years on these people learning your products and technology, and now all that knowledge is gone. The impact is continuously felt years down the road. The movement of people this and a variety of other reasons is a net drag on companies. This treatment of people as some sort of "resource" that can be scaled up and down on demand is a joke.
All that is not to say that if you have a problem with specific employees you can't fire them, that's a completely different question.
EDIT: Lemme give you another example I witnessed personally from a multi-billion dollar company. Production of a certain (highly complex) product in was moved to Mexico for a projected cost saving of about 5%. The factory was closed, hundreds of people were laid off. Years later the production cost in Mexico was higher than the cost in the original factory and production was moved back. It was absolutely clear the original decision was iffy but it was done for the optics of making it look like the company is working on cutting costs. It impacted not only those people who got laid off but local supply chains etc. Overall a negative decision for the company, the economy, and the people involved, driven purely by bean counters with no clue. If the company did "focus on employees" and really considered the loss of know-how, the cost of recruiting and training people, the loss of trust, the impact on morale etc. maybe we would have had a different outcome.
Language like that marks the top of a business cycle or bubble for me.
Absurd. I've done it. When the reason for the layoffs isn't to benefit some rich overlord (person or entity), then people can accept it, if you give them reasons to believe you'll be fixing the problems that led to the layoff. It requires communication.
If you don't have that, then I would find a way to get off that team. That's a failed culture change, and is just waiting for management to change its mind and quite possibly, fire the entire team.
If management wants employees to trust them, that should start with management. And they start that process by openly communicating and listening.
On layoffs: Everyone in the company is an employee... the company makes money and issues paychecks. If the company doesn't make enough money to pay those who work there, there isn't some sacrifice that can be made. Either the company lays off those they cannot afford, or it closes it's doors permanently. Everyone understands this. They are all adults, and if you communicate openly about the health of the company, they will understand.
And if you have a situation like that, and management communicated openly, then the employees will start to trust that when management says everything is going great, that it is actually true. Trust begins at the top too.
Aren't layoffs frequently about the owners just not making as much money as they would like, and not about survival?
The executive team turns that into an action plan. The action plan always reflects the need to constantly make progress. In other words, it's never the case that greed is suddenly a reason for layoffs -- since that existed every day the company was operating.
Companies aren't laying off divisions that perform well and contribute profits to the company. They layoff to solve an issue that has been identified. That issue needs to be communicated.
The fact is, no company is a perfectly performing entity. There are always parts that perform inefficiently; no longer reflect the mission of the company; etc. And sometimes layoffs are required to improve the company.
i can recommend two books that discuss exactly these issues and go even deeper:
"The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership " and "What drives people".
I've read about servant leadership, and I think it's part of a broader awareness and awakening that we can be and do things differently than we did in the past. It certainly fits with how I prefer to act, whether a leader or not.
I think where the leaders I'm working with are struggling is, many were groomed under a different system, and it has been a challenge for then to adapt to/believe in some of these new principles.
It doesn't matter if the majority of them are struggling or rejecting things. All it takes is one of them to make a breakthrough. And then its like dominoes.
Once upon a time, most leaders hardly ever visited a gym or bothered about their health. Today it's a rare thing to find one that doesn't. That didn't happen overnight. The key is for them to see other leaders having success with the approach.
This is such a ridiculous version of "Stanford PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin invent Google as part of their doctoral research."
No matter who you are, you are expendable. Don't ever forget it.
I'd like to hear more and/or otherwise.
Your employer went into to startups to make money, not to “make the world a better place”.
Also, with all the revelation of the last couple years, I'm not convinced at all that Silicon Valley makes the world a better place.
So, I think tech companies have a kind of pathological treatment of their workers we don’t see broadly.
(You’re also greatly simplifying why working class people are falling behind, to the point of misrepresenting it.)
- It was founded and is still headquartered in the suburbs of Dallas and has nothing to do with SF/SV. We technically have a sales office in SF, but that's just a place for our account managers on the West Coast to meet with clients (we also have similar sales offices in NYC, London, and Amsterdam... though I think the London office has been expanded into a real office with a handful of non-sales people regularly present).
- We're an enterprise B2B telecom, not some web/social/mobile-driven B2C company. B2B has a number of different cultural mores from B2C, and that's reflected in our internal values. And telecom in general is a whole 'nother ballgame entirely. It's a much more conservative industry than the rest of tech. When I tell random people what kind of company I work at, I usually say "we're kind of an enterprise ISP", which is about as far from SV-typical tech companies as you can imagine (though I stress the kind of, because we're more than just an ISP).
Working here doesn't feel like working at a tech company at all. It feels like working for a traditional enterprise, and I like it that way.
And that's not just me talking: we regularly win awards on Glassdoor because lots of other people think that way. We also have a TV screen in the office that shows our latest Glassdoor reviews. One day, I noticed a particular line scroll by, and it was interesting enough that I hopped on Glassdoor to ctrl-F for it so I could look at it in its entirety. Here's the Pros section from this person's review:
> Good work/life balance. Management has Texas values rather than imposing a Silicon Valley-style groupthink. Growing and profitable.
It looks like I'm not the only one who's realized that the reason this company is so good to their employees is because they're not from Silicon Valley.
link for the lazy
> The Wall Street Journal plans to close its news operation in Boston, eliminating nine positions, amid a historic decline in newspaper revenue.
> The affected journalists can apply for other positions at the newspaper, said Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Journal and editor-in-chief of the paper's parent company, Dow Jones & Co., in a memo to staff on Thursday.
The Boston Bureau was home to, among other things, the hard-hitting investigative healthcare reporter, Keith Winstein, the author of Mosh.
I think you've wrapped yourself in an echo chamber that you don't care to be inside.
We develop ERP/CRM plugins, and I don't even pretend to sell employees on a "change the world" mission.
(We do, however, strive to build the best picks and axes so others can change the world).
This is called 'a job'.
So you're fine with nursing assistants getting paid like shit?