Imagine you’ve been working for an organisation for the past eight years. Within those years, you can count the number of times you have received a full salary while other times, your salary had been slashed without prior information or apologies. You are just expected to go with the flow and accept whatever comes your way. Uncertainty has become the order of the day for you as decisions are constantly taken randomly and impulsively. A change could happen in split seconds and everyone suffers for it.
If your memory serves you right, your first year was the fairest year you have experienced since you took on the role at the company. It was the only time your boss actually showed concern about your welfare. After that year, everything seemed to have changed within the flash speed of an eye blink. As time passed, you noticed your boss was the too authoritative type who never listened to other people’s opinion. Your boss could go on and on about what the company’s needs were rather than what was best for the employees. Anybody’s salary could be slashed at the slightest mistake. Everybody worked tirelessly and spoke in hush voices, not wanting to offend by speaking up against the harsh rules and unfair treatment in the organisation.
During the last meeting, you had tried speaking up about some concerns which you and some other staff had discussed some days before. Eyes grew wide and your voice trembled as you spoke. With the angry look on your boss’s face which was expected, you knew he wasn’t quite pleased by your boldness. Half way through your complaint, your boss had shut you up seeing that your opinion was entirely different. You now looked like the rebellious one for saying things that were an obvious truth.
Your anger was renewed yesterday when salaries were paid and what you feared most had happened, yours was incomplete. The HR manager had explained you were being punished for insubordination and for lack of conduct. You were amazed at her calmness while she spoke confidently about offenses you didn’t think would ever be associated to your name. You could sense your patience running out but then felt helpless as this job was your only source of income.
“What do you do next?” you continue to ask yourself…
The scenario painted above is the case of so many employees in organisations where it is a taboo to speak about wrong happenings. In places like that there are no objections only silent nods and a forced dance to the rhythm set by the boss. In such organisations, a slash in salary is seen as the perfect punishment for any staff regardless of the position. What would you say is going to be the fate of the fellow in the description?
As an employer, it is important to do a review about how you treat your employees. If your plan is to build a brand that will outlive you, then the welfare of your employees should be your priority. As it is often said, “respect is reciprocal”, so also when you put your employees’ welfare first, they will in turn put your business first.
However, this doesn’t mean you should always dance to the tune of your employees or run your business based on their decisions. Rather it is a way to say you should be more intentional about building an organisation where everyone feels secured. Remember NO TEAM, NO BRAND.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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