Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wake up call for the unawakened

(Random thoughts regarding corporate firings. Copied from my FB status.)

Well! what to say. Can't blame the company. They have to hire and fire according to their business needs. They have to protect themselves from potential liability. So they have to make up some data.

This is a wake up call for the unawakened. Nobody watches your back. You alone are solely responsible for your career, life and everything. So take really good care of yourself. Job security - forget it. No company can provide it. Look for jobs that provide reasonable opportunities for future employment. That means companies which not only pay well but also provide good work & life balance. Stop burning yourself out for some employer who can get rid of you in a moment. Use some of that time to keep yourself healthy (mentally and physically), read, get skills and always be prepared for such eventuality. First time is always hard but good professionals will succeed. My thoughts are with such people. Seen this sham in so many places. What goes behind the screens is very very ugly. Cooked up data, made up performance ratings, deliberately given poor ratings to justify terminations.

Long long ago, employees and employers used to have discussions and come up with creative ideas to save jobs and save the company during difficult times. Way back in 2001 time frame, when the company I was working had some problems due to general market slump, one of the measures proposed was to take 5% pay cut at employee level and more % at higher levels. Some people grumbled but the measure saved quite a few talented people from getting laid off. Still today I feel very proud that we as a company of more than 2000 people came together and made such a benevolent measure work. Do such things happen now or companies simply try to rightsize right away??

At will employment - that's the kind of employment contract. But if companies want loyalty they can't treat people like disposable items. Without employee loyalty and dedication, no company becomes great or stays great. Many companies that figured in business classics like 'Good to Great', 'Built to Last' do not exist today because at some point they stopped caring for employees. Business triad of employees, customers, shareholders has to be balanced carefully. Productive employees are happy and happy employees make customers happy and happy customers make wealthy shareholders, in the long run. But, many businesses are so focused on short term that they are busy kissing up to wall street and meeting their earnings/ share projections.

Sorry for the long ramble....getting rid of people really hurts at mid management level because only people in that role know how hard it is to hire good people, keep them motivated, keep them focused, request them to make many sacrifices and then some bozo at the top take decision to fire them just to fit some stupid financial model which does not survive the first brush with reality.

(Disclaimer: No reflection on what may be going on in TCS or elsewhere. Just my thoughts on such happenings. This incident just prompted me to write down few thoughts)

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