Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Job, part 7

Opportunities and promotions.

I see in the current company a similar condition that I have seen before elsewhere, and it is something that does not bode well.

When a company decides to grow or expand, upper management is faced with some of the decisions on how to do it, such as how to staff for it, etc. When newer managers decide that their best bet is to hire their former associates from previous jobs, it has a discouraging affect on long-term employees.

What happens is those that have been maintaining the company, those that have been producing the products, those with with the experience and the associations within the company, are now in a position to be superceded by these newer arrivals. These newer arrivals are placed over the current set of persons who are and have been doing the same jobs in the pre-expanded company.

While I can easily understand how it happens; a director says 'I'll hire so-and-so, he can do this job, he did it when he and I worked at the previous company, and I need someone who understands how to do such a thing in a company that wants to grow to the size we want to grow to...'

I don't begrudge any company or manager who wants to hire whomever. What I do understand, and want to point out, is that doing so, without giving the current employees a chance to grow into the larger role, only spreads discouragement and withdrawal.

Well, fine, you might say, let them be discouraged and withdrawn if they want, let them leave; we'll just get new people and fill the needed roles with them. I reply: if you have a company that depends on the technical experience and knowledge of long-term staff and by your actions you do bypass them and stuff the ranks above with your associates, you will lose them and their experience and your company will suffer.

When the VP called me and asked me to stay (see Job, part 2), he said he needed people he could count on. Well, I do, too. If we cannot count on the management to count on us, then why bother? 'Punch a clock and go home' might be an attitude some could live by, and many have, but it destroys job satisfaction and degrades the purpose of work.

The result of such policies has also been to top-heavy the organization with upper management, senior managers of this partnership or that initiative, while at the same time laying off workers and outsourcing many of the bread-and-butter positions overseas. As a result, conditions are good for a few, prospects are poor for most. Morale suffers, and politics takes more of the front seats in the organization; rewarding one's friends and stymying those whose histories predate one's ascent to power.