Corporate Indifference

Why is it that corporations get so nasty when the economy goes in the tank? It’s understandable that when the going gets tough, hard decisions need to be made. But those decisions should be made in an honorable fashion. Unfortunately, however, it seems that some companies can’t take this high road approach. A very good example of this has recently come to my attention. Someone I know works for a company that is “down-sizing”. I have a problem with the very term “down-sizing” but that is a different commentary. The problem here is that a lot of existing jobs are being merged into one. So if you have two management positions A and B, soon there will be only one position C, which is basically A + B. In the case of this company, they have decided to eliminate A and B and have the individuals in those positions “interview” for the new position C.

So imagine yourself in this position. You’ve worked for a number of years with the company, as has your friend down the hall. You both have essentially the same job in the company. One day, the company decides to merge the two jobs. Neither of you has a job any longer unless you interview with the company for the merged job. You are now in direct competition with your friend for your livelihood. The interview comes and the questions include “Why should we keep you instead of (insert name of friend here)?” Certainly this puts a strain on the friendship and does not in the long run serve the company. It fosters an view that the company does not care about its people. It does not care about the relationships you build with your coworkers. It does not care that you have to go home and worry about the interview, worry about what your friend will think and do. How is this interview idea a smart way to handle this? Can’t an employer look at two different employees and decide, without some uncomfortable interview process, which is the better candidate for the position? This interview approach never happens for promotions? They don’t announce a promotion and then do interviews for the promotion. They simply evaluate the candidates and make a decision. They should do this here also.