People Howlers

Given the end of the year is looming we thought we would capture in one place the 10 worst examples of people management practices we have come across this year:
  • Using the economy as a reason to get rid of people rather than engaging with them around the real reason why they are not suitable.
  • Saying there is no bonus for people whilst giving out huge redundancy payments to people you haven’t the courage to performance manage.
  • When a voluntary redundancy programme is underway saying to some applicants you are too good to ‘let go’; the money is going to be used to sort out the people we want out. See previous point.
  • Interviewing potential recruits and not telling them they have been unsuccessful.
  • Managers who talk about vision and values and then do the opposite.
  • Treating induction as a one day tour of the office and issuing the log on password. It’s no surprise this organisation has a very high first year churn rate.
  • Not setting the annual bonus plans until the first quarter numbers are in.
  • Allowing a salary review date to slip, with no communication around why.
  • Using the difficult economy as a reason to underpay new recruits, or in one circumstance not pay them at all.
And latest news just in; cancelling the Christmas party for the wider population and senior managers going away for a secret dinner.
What we find interesting is managers often have a real blind spot around these issues. In the name of realpolitik they believe this way of operating gets the job done. The problem is with this approach is the affect it has on morale and job satisfaction. We have been to several Christmas parties recently where the recently redundant are positive and being as constructive as possible about their new situation and the people who are still working in the organisation are anxious and fearful about their employed position. This idea that you should be just be thankful you have job so put up with everything, including the way the organisation behaves, is the refuge of the deeply mediocre manager.