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Stupid gotcha managers

April 5, 2018

Yesterday I ran into a friend who told me that she left her job of 12 years and joined a new firm. Her reason was that she was limited in her overtime and when she did work, she was only paid straight time, not time and a half. Also, her new job was at a higher salary and they also promised her 8 hours of overtime a week at time and a half. When she gave notice and responded to her employer’s request for the reason, her employer said he would match it if she would stay. Stupid manager!

If she was worth the extra money, why wasn’t it routinely paid and why did it take her giving notice for them to offer the increase?

Much of what is done in business is done in good faith with a spirit of fairness, collaboration and cooperation. This should be pervasive and there should not be a one sided gotcha attitude by the boss. In matters of compensation and benefits the bosses usually carry the weig with employees accepting that situation. Even when it is unfair it still takes a lot for an employee to terminate the relationship. Usually the dissatisfaction manifests itself, subtly, with reduced performance leading to a cycle of low raises and further reduced performance and still lower raises until the employee leaves or is discharged.

Every business and organization with personnel not only relies on its people but needs to trust that they do the best job they can. Dissatisfaction is always is evident no matter how latent it appears; and it always costs even when that expense is not so obvious.

Each employee’s pay and benefits should reflect the value brought to the organization and not determined in a manner that the boss feels they could get away with.

Gotchas do not belong in a successful organization, or in one that wants to be successful. I know that in most organizations payroll and benefits are the largest category of expenditure and even small increases escalate throughout the organization; but losing longtime loyal and trained employees and the subsequent hiring and indoctrination of new people has a cost too. The latter spiraling process is a sure way to thwart forward movement or growth.

Manage your personnel the right way. If the employee is worth more, pay them what they are worth. If not worth what they are getting, then discharge them. Matching an offer made to someone who is giving notice makes you look like a fool and the employee feel like a sap.

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