I got an few personal emails from my friends after my layoff announcement. Here’s one I got permission to share with you. There are many lessons here:
The thing that just galls me about the layoff piece is this: good people take on personal energy to put into their job. They get invested in it because it aligns with what they want to be doing (passion or not). And companies and their management want us invested in what they are doing, where they are going.
And then the management changes direction. Executives have their contracts and parachutes; we’re lucky if we get severance. The dissonance between “our people are our most important asset” and “your last day is November 30th” is just tough to reconcile.
But the disillusionment of being invested in the plan, the goal, the work and then having it taken away has a particularly bad impact on our egos and self worth.
I’ve become highly cynical about Corporate America, for good reason. I look at corporate pronouncements with a detached, highly cynical eye (the one today was along the lines of “we’ve now completed our simplification of [company name removed] as we have now sold off x, x, and y”). I don’t buy into any direction the company provides, outside of what’s in it for me and recalculating my quarterly “how long will my job last” questionnaire.
It’s not team oriented at all, although I help my team. It’s highly narcissistic, even though I am not. My goal is to be highly employable, knowing job security doesn’t exist. You don’t get highly employable unless you are ruthless in how you handle your career and pay attention to what is happening at work. It has saved my bacon more than once.
Don’t know a way around that, though I wish I did.
Be well, my friend. Fight the good fight.
This comes from someone I really respect, who understands careers in corporate in a way I could only imagine.
Years ago I was talking to a SVP of People (a high level HR person) who was complaining that employees just aren’t loyal to companies anymore.
Uh, duh…. yah think????
I couldn’t believe that this person, who I’m sure based on her tenure and title, had at some points in her career been involved in terminating whole groups of people, could even think that we are a bunch lemurs who are clamoring to work at companies and give 110% loyalty, even though with a click of a mouse we could be in the poor house, with our careers devastated.
Okay, maybe that’s too heavy on the assumptions, but to hear an HR professional complain that loyalty towards a company is a thing of the past was indeed shocking. Who created this mess?
If we, employees, didn’t have to worry about our livelihood, how much more productive would we be? You wouldn’t have to do employee satisfaction and engagement initiatives all the time if were didn’t have this dark cloud of BEING POOR over our heads. I’m not saying that we are entitled to wealth just because we have a job, but the unknown that comes from living in an “at-will” environment is taxing. It makes us wonder. And not matter how “great” you are, according to the “best places to work” surveys, if a better opportunity comes along in a company that hasn’t bought that designation, I might just take it.
Because YOU created this environment that helps me know that YOU do not care about me or my future. HR does not care. Management does not care. When it comes down to it, a decrease in employee loyalty has come because you eliminated any loyalty towards the employee.
And now we are left to fend for ourselves. That’s okay, I guess. It is, as they say, what it is.
But don’t come complaining to me that employees aren’t loyal anymore.