The Dehumanization of the Work Force

Employers, have you noticed a change in your employees?  Are they depressed, upset, your statistics are dropping?  Is the workplace no longer vibrant and happy?  If this is the case, then I ask you to take an honest look at your employee policies and how you treat your employees.

There has been a major trend over the last several years, and it is only getting worse.  The problem is with how companies, and the people running them are slowly dehumanizing the people in positions below them.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

I’ve been some form of customer service most of my life (all if you consider girl scouts).  I’ve worked in retail, grocery, office and call center.  When I started, management would work with their employees – if they needed a schedule to co-ordinate with school, they usually got it.  If you had a dispute, you could take it to management and work out a resolution.  Companies used to offer affordable benefit packages and offer great retirement packages.  Other perks could include company picnics, significant bonuses, and more.  I’ve been given free pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and taken out to nice lunches and dinners for excellent work. Management made an effort to know their employees, and made sure they were taken care of.

Now, the culture is entirely different.  Many companies now have a “cookie-cutter” mentality about their employees.  Employees are now treated like mindless automatons who are there to “do their master’s bidding.”  Schedules are dictated with (often) little to no notice, disrupting our personal lives.  Employees are overloaded with more and more tasks and responsibilities for our positions, and requirements change with no regard for the employee’s mental and physical health, safety and welfare.  Bonuses are minimal at best, and it has been many years since I’ve even heard of a company picnic.  Management has turned their workforce into numbers, not people.

I’m grateful that in my new position, the company is small, and while their may be drama in the environment, management from the top down knows their employees individually.  Management  does not hold themselves above their employees, and they treat their employees, not as a number, but as a person.

If more companies would follow in their example, if they brought back the little things, if they would not overload their employees, and if they would remember that the employees are people, they would find that they would gain more not just in profit, but in reputation and other intangible ways as well.  There is more to business than dollars and cents.  I hope more companies begin to remember that.

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