How to Play the Good Guy While Being the Bad Guy

by Michael Haberman on May 21, 2012 · 0 comments


 

How you treat people you terminate will make you a "good guy" or a "bad guy."

Businesses are often accused of being the bad guy. Pay attention to cartoons (e.g., Dilbert), movies and television and you will often see business portrayed in a negative light. My experience has generally been that most businesses are not intentionally mean or evil. Many things we consider “bad” are not really intended that way. However, occasionally you run into a situation where a business lives “down” to the expectations of the naysayers. I have learned of an example where a company is trying to appear as the “good guy” but in reality they are being the “bad guy.”

My example is a company that has been downsizing for a few years. They have closed facilities and let people go. As many companies do in these situations they have let all the “deadwood” employees go. Now they have employees who have survived several cuts. But they have continued to close facilities. Some of these people in these facilities were told that if they wanted to move to other cities they could work for the company there. Sounds like they are being a “good guy.”

However, the move would have to be on the employee’s own “dime.” Well, that is not unheard of, after all relocation is expensive and many companies are avoiding it. But, here is the real kicker. If you move to go to work for the company you do not automatically get a job. You have to apply as does any other person off the street, and you will be paid that starting wage, not the wage you had earned previously while working for the company. Needless to say to date no one has taken the “offer.” Sort of insures you don’t have to worry about any of those “older workers” come to work for you again. To me it smacks of disguised age discrimination, because as you might guess most, if not all, of the workers involved are well over the age of 40. But how do you claim that when you were “offered” an opportunity but declined it?

This behavior on the part of the company is starting to backfire on them however. They are down to a critical mass of vital employees who are now starting to leave on their own volition. And they are telling the company they are not interested in working for a company which has been so underhanded in its treatment of former employees, their friends and in some cases family members.

So let this be a warning to many of you out there. You reap what you sow. Not only do you start to lose the people you need but the word gets out and it becomes harder to replace them because people have “heard” how the company operates.

 

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