Management Induced Turmoil is Counter-Productive
Understanding you will not get along with everyone you work with in your life, is a realization that comes with maturity. Knowing that everyone in a large work place is not going to see eye to eye, should be basic business 101. So why has management of many large companies decided to exacerbate this problem?
When I worked for the Board of Education I thought the discontent among the faculty was just a way of weeding out teachers who were disliked. Since then, I realize this is a national phenomenon. Every large employer I have worked for (and there have been many) has incorporated this same antagonistic management style of pitting employees against one another.
Is the goal to avoid the formation of labor unions and destroy existing ones? This is possibly the best guess I can come up with. Turning one group of employees against another makes union activity difficult. However, most labor unions today have clauses in their contract that prohibits anti-union activity by the Company. Is this a blatant disregard for these clauses? I say yes. So why does there seem to be no reaction from any labor unions around the country?
Is this ‘management technique’ a diversion? Well, if you agree with the previous paragraph then the answer has to be yes. It is a dog and pony show, which the company uses to thinly mask it’s anti union activities.
The next best answer I could come up with was; Abraham Lincoln used the same technique in deciding whom to appoint within his cabinet. Is this ‘management technique’ simply an adaptation of a savvy political move by one of our nation’s great Presidents? This is a plausible answer since most of the Upper Management of large corporations tend to be limited in the area of original thinking. The problem arising from this is that Lincoln used the technique in order to buy time at a pivotal moment in U.S. history. Is this the technique businesses should be employing at a time when America finds itself slipping behind the other industrialized nations of the world? I think the answer to that is clear.
We need labor and management joined together as a team driving American industry forward. This antagonistic managerial style is doing just the opposite. To quote a fellow worker, when speaking of the managers at the company for which I’m employed, “I wouldn’t pull over and piss on any of them if they where lying beside the road on fire”.
This is certainly not the labor-management dynamic that drove American industry in the past. If this type of antagonism had been present not so long ago, maybe Joseph McCarthy would have actually had a true fight on his hands.
Not only have today’s executives created discontent among subordinate employees, they have also managed to create division among the management ranks as well. Today’s large scale employers are a vast array of armed camps each looking suspiciously at the other. And because of this productivity is severly limited.
The final option, as to why things have gone this far, is that people in positions of authority today lack the self confidence, and many times the skill and/or experience, to effectively manage. If they keep their subordinates quibbling, then they insulate themselves from criticism and/or resposibility.
Whatever the reason, we need to bring an end to this counter-productive management style. American business was built on industrialization and team work, let us find our way back to those basic ideas for the good of everyone.
And remember to take your coffee break.