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Monday, 19 September 2016 20:41

Baseball Bat Management

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With all the advances in human resource management and constant discussion about new techniques, one does not expect to hear stories about large companies treating their employees poorly.
No matter how often I am surprised by these stories, I am still disappointed when I hear about companies that are household names allowing their managers to treat employees of long standing in a manner that is just totally inconsistent with the image that they present.

Recently, I had cause to counsel two employees who had been retrenched from a large organisation.  They advised me of a situation of another employee who had been retrenched just months short of retirement after over 20 years service, in a manner that showed utter disregard for her contribution to the company.

As the person that I was meeting with said: "What was done was not a problem, because the person's rights were respected.  It was how it was done".  He then went on to give a very good re-enactment of someone with a baseball bat hitting someone else right behind the ear.

Apparently this person, although very close to retirement, was told that her job was to be made redundant.  Apparently, there was a fairly heavy emphasis at the conclusion of this person's career that really her contribution to the company had not been all that it could have been.  This is despite the fact that she apparently was one of the most competent people in the organisation over many years, had performed any task that had been required of her and had been totally committed to the company throughout.

So where does this leave us all from a business point of view?  To me it confirms once again that for a company to have a heart, it must have managers that are good managers of people.  There needs to be only one break in this succession of people who are good people managers for the company to become totally heartless and for one episode in a person's career to be poorly managed and ruin that career.

It seems that the organisation that has been discussed here is having a hard time and things are getting worse.  However, it seems from the details available, that the hard times are of the organisation's own making.  The senior executives are treating the company as a collection of objects, not as a living, breathing enterprise employing many thousands of people.  This is an attitude they will regret, but possibly will never know.

This article was written by Dr Karel deLaat. http://www.kareldelaat.com/

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