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The smoke & mirrors of Corporate loyalty
May 27, 2006|BlatheringsOp/Ed

The smoke & mirrors of Corporate loyalty

You hear about it more and more, and it doesn’t surprise anyone more… a company decides to downsize, laying off senior employees and keeping the chum to take up the slack. It just happened to a friend of mine and it pisses me off. They kick the long-term employees who have been with the company for years, decades even (in some cases, from back in the day when you could count up all the employees and still have fingers left to pick your nose) to the curb, and decide to keep the ones who cost less, and just about always know less – under the thinly veiled mask of trying to keep the company viable. It’s no wonder that loyalty ranks nearly dead last in corporate hiring priorities, as seen by everyone except the HR department.  You still get crap like:

 

"I think they[employees] have a responsibility to us to pay their dues before they jump ship. If they have been here four or five years and then they decide to leave, that’s not too bad. But to leave in a year or two? We are not happy about that,"

 

coming out of the department heads and execs. So why is it such a stretch to expect this in return? Why would anyone expect any employee to want to stay with a company that disregards the tenure of those who have stayed with  the company for the long haul? Stood their ground when others jumped ship, remaining loyal to a company they thought would treat them fairly, only to have their years of dedicated service rewarded with  a shove out the door.

Okay, so they give out severance packages. So what. You still don’t have a job in the end, so unless they drop a 3 or 4 year deal on the table – it’s little consolation to their wives and children.

This kind of behavior is indicative of how the working class in this nation are treated as a whole. By their employers and by their government. The message is simple: you don’t matter – your vote doesn’t count. How often do you see the CEO, and top floor VPs take a pay hit in order to save a company? More often than not, they sit fat and happy with their golden parachute, not really caring about what happens because they rob the company on the way out. Take Craig Conway for instance, PeopleSoft fired his sorry arse in 2004, and he got somewhere between 10 and 20 million. For being friggin’ fired! WTF!?

How often is it the complete ineptitude of the corporate leaders that lead up the woes of the company too? More than 75% I would wager. I was laid off from a job once, only to be hired back as a contractor at almost double the pay, and they still paid my taxes. Again. WTF?! How does that make any sense what-so-ever? It doesn’t. In fact, in a massive twist of fate the company went tits-up not even 3 months later. I know, what a shocker. But the President had another job before the offices were cleared out, hmmm – I guess at least one person saw the writing on the wall.

Why does this bother me? That’s simple. I’m one of those 34%. I love my work. I enjoy my job and almost every aspect of it. I live for the web. Designing, building, creating sites and applications for the web is what makes me giddy. It is a passion. I also get very invested with the company I work for. I always have. With every company I have worked for in a professional capacity. It’s how I am. I have a work ethic. Part of that work ethic is caring about my employer, and trying to do whatever I can do to contribute to making it a successful business. That’s what an employees job is really about. It’s just too bad that it seems to be becoming ever too common that employers do not return the loyalty in kind, instead they toss it like an old sock.

Some recent studies indicate that employees are becoming more loyal to their companies, but what about the other way around? I mean, hey that’s great, right? People are happy with their job (well, 34% of them any way), and willing to turn down another offer to stick by the company they are with. Maybe it’s time the employers starting hearing about this at review time. Why not? If HR says they want loyal employees, than they should reward the ones that are. Of course, this reward will be the exact thing that makes them the likely target when the Bobs come calling on your office space.

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