Employment Relations Gone Bad

Or how bad behavior begets bad behavior…

This topic came about though an email exchange I had with a long-time associate under the topic of how to handle getting let go.

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Notice

Two weeks notice has always been an expectation.

Sure – I’ve worked for companies that expected notice, but often didn’t want employees around during that time. It always seemed to me that they were paying for those two weeks even when they didn’t want them because it was the company’s choice, but I can’t be certain.

Me, I’ve given notice as long as three months…

Finding out early

And yes, when a company is letting go, the same two weeks apply – and has also been an expectation. (And again, the employee may not be present for those two weeks, but the company will pay for them)

But let’s suppose you find out early that your job is going to be eliminated?

How should one act?

Don’t be an ass…

And this was my advice – I know the situation might be as crummy as they come, but as one professional to another, my hope is that the one leaving wouldn’t be disruptive to the other employees (for example).

I’ve been on the receiving end of some unpleasantness (for decisions that have not been mine to make), and it has made me less likely to extend niceness around the concept of “let’s be civil about this”…

When the company’s an ass…

And so it was put to me that some companies are getting to the point of treating employees unfairly, and (gasp) violating the 2 week rule…

And an “I can discard you at a moment’s notice” attitude is just down-right rude.

But perhaps conscionable in an economy where jobs are scarce. I’m not saying healthy – but thinkable. If employees are plentiful, then a company might just think that it can treat them all rather shabbily and not face too many consequences.

Delayed gratification

We can understand the motivations, but that doesn’t justify a company’s rude behavior, nor does it excuse equally bad behavior on the employee’s part. As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around”.

Organizational reputation is hard to repair. I know a couple local companies that I won’t touch – it isn’t that I think they’re criminal, they’re just not worthy of my time or effort. And this bad rep will both keep me from working for them, or purchasing goods from them.

Now I don’t know that my business is going to matter – but that’s ok. If they offend enough of the population it could be down-right hard for them to attract talented individuals. And that’s probably enough to nudge them to the bottom of the lists of success or possibly get them bought out or under-water – and it’s sometimes satisfactory enough to read about that in the paper…

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