post written by: Marc Chernoff

Pissing Off Your Employees


I came across this blog entry that listed 50 things an employer could do to their employees that would make them want to quit.  The crazy thing is that this list hit far to close to home… not concerning to my new job, but concerning the job that I recently left behind.  I wasn’t the only one to split either.  For the most part, our entire team quit over the course of a year.  Why?  Because we put heart into every job related duty and all of our clients loved us, but when it came time for internal corporate recognition, the men upstairs gave us the cold shoulder.  Interestingly enough, two us are currently employed by the same (new) employer… and we’re both praised for our efforts, compensated respectfully, and rapidly working toward a big promotion.  Another one of our ex-colleagues just interviewed with this same employer last week.  Our boss loved him, and offered him the job almost on the spot… yet our old employer thought he was totally expendable.  They are learning their lesson though.  One of our ex-colleagues that didn’t leave recently informed us that all of their clients are in an absolute uproar over the poor quality of service produced by the team that replaced us.  Here are some of the things our old employer/bosses did to motivate our departure:

  • Assign enough projects with tight deadlines so that your team has no choice but to work a 60 hour week while you only work 30 hours. - (Follow this up by telling us that we don’t really work that hard all the time…  basically, a slap in the face.)
  • Cap overtime pay. - (What overtime pay?  We never saw a dime!)
  • Talk more than you listen. - (They loved to hear themselves talk.  But when it came time for proactive suggestions, the office was closed.)
  • Constantly underestimate the time it takes to get things done.  - (Yeah… and then force us into the meat grinder anyway.)
  • Hire someone that is very weak to take the place of a veteran and expect the same results from the team. - (They basically expected the same level of results regardless of the lack of resources… all day, every day!)
  • Consistency is good. Never ask your employees if they are challenged enough or want to take on more responsibility. - (Oh yeah, and let’s keep all the hard working guys in their current position forever because they do such a good job at it.  If an upper level position becomes available, we’ll just bring in an outsider.) 
  • Make promises to customers but have no idea on the elements involved in getting the task done. - (Yeah, or employ an entire army of sales guys that are barely capable of operating their own personal laptop, and then have them sell cutting edge client/server based digital video editing systems to multimillion dollar professional sports clients.  I mean, who cares.  If they screw it up, the IT support guys will clean up the mess.)
  • Give employees low raises because the more you save, the higher your bonus. - (All they cared about was the bottom line…  Forget about the guys on the front line that are helping the company achieve its goals.  The word “Budget” went hand in hand with the word “Raise”.  Yet, they threw thousands of wasteful dollars around when schmoozing the clients.)
  • Create a desk cleanliness policy. - (Or, just randomly piss and moan about it for no apparent reason while living by the “do what I say but not what I do” philosophy.)
  • Instead of offering to help hands-on, watch from a distance and provide support over email. - (Upper management was never actively involved in our problems… they never even showed an interest unless a significant financial loss was at risk.)
  • Never be the on-call guy to share in the team burden. - (Nuff said!)
  • Give advice on topics you are only partially educated in. - (Oh, they were pros at this!  This is what occurs when business men own a cutting edge tech company and ignore the advise of their hired IT staff.)
  • Let a couple people work from the house, but provide no reason for it or ways for others to obtain the right.  - (This seemed to be some kind of loophole we never could figure out.  Half of the company staff worked from home, but this wasn’t an option for us… even though it would have been totally feasible.)

It’s amazing that even after dealing with all this corporate crap, I actually enjoyed my job, and I took pride in my work.  I would have loved to remain onboard.  If blatant mismangement hadn’t been such a career impeding problem, I would have never looked elsewhere.  Hopefully they realize that.

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2 Comments

  • This got me to think about the way we treat customers and family. Who hasn’t promised something to a family member or good friend and when the deadline passed said to him or herself, “Oh he or she will understand.” Many of us are often more attentive to our customers than our families.

    In this 24 by 7 world it is important to take the time to spend quality time with your family. I recommend treating both family and customers respectfully. A promise to either is a commitment that must be fulfilled.

  • The funny thing is that this happens with even the lowest wage jobs.

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