Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Surviving your employer

Given my leanings toward the slow apocalypse scenario, if only because it gives authors more time to write more books to read about it, the ongoing plight of employees is of interest to me.

If survival is not a matter of beating the bombs as you race to your wilderness retreat, than what are your best survival moves?

For a start, you probably want to avoid working for one of these dogs:

America’s Worst Companies to Work For
24/7 Wall Street, 19 July 2013 (hat tip: NC)
Not surprisingly, employees most often complain about low wages and poor benefits. Many noted that they were paid even less than the already-low industry average for their job. Benefits, if the company provided any, were either difficult to afford or inadequate.
While some employees at all levels were unhappy, complaints at these companies were disproportionately from sales representatives, customer service agents and technicians. These were generally lower-paid, front-line workers dealing directly with customers.
Issues with middle management were universal among the employees of these companies, but the types of complaints varied. Depending on the company, employees felt they were micromanaged, treated unfairly or like children, or asked to meet extreme demands.
Several of the companies on this list have failed to find a clear path to boost their sales and earnings. RadioShack has attempted to revitalize its brand multiple times by focusing on different strategies and metrics. Employees have seen the electronics retailer change its priorities so often they view these moves skeptically. Other companies have been stubborn and have not pursued any major changes despite overwhelming evidence that they should. Compared to other retailers, Sears Holdings invests little in its stores, a fact that bothers many of its employees.
Employees at poorly-rated companies tend to have low opinions of senior management. The average CEO rating across the companies measured by Glassdoor is 69%, according to Zupan. The majority of the worst-reviewed companies had CEO approval ratings of 40% or less. Only 23% of Dillard’s employees approved of CEO Bill Dillards II’s management. Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert earned 19% approval.
Another attribute shared by many of the companies on this list is the perception that they have been overwhelmed by larger, better-equipped competitors. RadioShack falls into that category. It cannot effectively compete with, or even Best Buy. This is also true for Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart and competes with Walmart and Target. Dish, which competes with AT&T and large cable companies, faces a similar problem.

I'll let you go to the link to find out the specifics of the companies and how they were ranked.  It obviously leans toward larger companies with a larger basis for opinions.  I have worked with any number of small contracting outfits that were almost surreal in their dystopian flavorings.  Fox News may but the small business person up on a pedestal, but my guess is that most employees rank them somewhat lower.  The small business owner is likely the most delusional group of people you are likely to come across- which goes a long way toward explaining why they want to run a business in the current to economic-regulatory climate.
One note I do find striking is that a lot of the employees resentment is funneled through frustration with the companies success.  People don't like working for obvious losers.  If you're company is in the middling muddle of the pack, you can explain away all sorts of failures.  But if you work for a large company with a lot of media focus on it, the wiggle room gets small.


James M Dakin said...

Dollar General made the list. Rotten mean bastards to work for ( at about minimum wage ). Most upper management types clueless college idiots. Get Food Stamps before you work for these twats.

PioneerPreppy said...

Oh ya Dollar General sucks to work for. I haven't worked for them but my last employer had a number of people that flipped back and forth from them to DG so I am pretty knowledgeable about how the local DG warehouse runs.

As usual the men are pounded hard. Always pigeon holed into the really hard labor even though they are hired the same rate and title as the women. The women get the easy yet boring pick work the men get thrown on the dock loading trailers with a quota so high it is impossible to make rate unless everything is perfect.

The management usually picks a favorite who gets those "perfect" loads and is then used to prove it can be done.

Almost the same scenarios I faced at my warehouse job.

russell1200 said...

Wow to both comments: I thought Dollar General was an North Carolina based chain, but I can see now they are based out of Tennessee. But we have lots of rotten employers like them, and lots of their stores here. They remind me of the old five and dime type stores.

Right now I think our whole culture of interactions is so bizarre and non-reality grounded, I think it is exceptional to find a company that isn't seriously dysfunctional.

What I think is really wild is that in the mid-1990s Wal-Mart often made lists of best places to work. Boy have things changed there.