After yesterday’s post about a former Goldman Sachs executive’s op-ed piece in The New York Times, I received a lot of email from readers who took the “fill-in-the-blanks test.” One of the emails I received showed that the problems Greg Smith pointed out don’t just exist in big, powerful corporations. They exist in businesses of all sizes.
I asked the emailer if I could print her email on the blog anonymously and respond to it. References to the company she works for have been removed, however, the company employs around 100 people and has been in business for over 15 years.
I read your blog post today about Goldman Sachs. I always thought big companies like Goldman were evil and really don’t care about their customers or employees. After doing what you suggested with the guys resignation letter, I thought I would find my name signed at the bottom of the page.
I’ve worked for [company name deleted] for six years. I started working here because I knew people who worked there and they always talked about how much they loved it. I loved it too for the first few years.
Then I saw morale sink as our benefits were taken away, perks that we enjoyed in the office disappeared and we were forced to work longer hours for no extra compensation (I am a salaried employee). Our customers started leaving in droves and we started getting bad reviews of our products and customer service online and you know what happens next.
I’ve gone to my manager to try to get her to understand that changes need to be made and she just tells me that this is how things are and we have to live with it. Unfortunately, I have to live with it, because it’s my job. But I’m no longer happy where I work and am constantly on the lookout for another job, somewhere.
I’m not the only one who feels this way at [company name deleted] and management doesn’t listen to our complaints or recommendations for improving things.
Maybe more business owners need to read this guys letter and wake up.
Unfortunately, many businesses have adopted the exact mentality that Greg Smith outlined in his op-ed piece. What he described is not something that you’re only going to find in large, publicly traded companies like Goldman Sachs. You’re going to find this kind of attitude in many businesses with owners who just don’t “get it.”
In order to have loyal customers, you need to have passionate employees who are driven to provide them with the best service and best products as possible. That passion comes from having pride in the company they work for and that pride comes from a company who puts their employees first.
If you work for a company that has adopted this type of philosophy you can do two things:
1. Leave. Not the ideal thing for anyone to do, but if you are that disgruntled both you and the company you work for is better off without you. I’m not trying to be harsh, I’m trying to be realistic. Don’t jeopardize your health and personal life by being unhappy with your employment situation. Start the job search immediately.
2. Don’t be silent. Many times employees just take what’s thrown at them and continue to punch in and punch out every day. If you don’t agree with the way your company is treating employees or customers – speak up. But don’t let words just fly out of your mouth in a fit of anger. Write down what you want to say to your manager or the owner and back up your statements with examples and facts wherever possible. Speak your mind, remain professional and get your point across as succinctly as possible without being confrontational.
Granted, all employers may not want to listen to what employees want to say. A good manager or owner will want take the time to listen to employees concerns and address them. You can’t always expect to have your concerns remedied, but at least you will get the satisfaction from knowing that you brought them up to the people in charge.
Just keep in mind, you can’t change the world and chances are if you work in a company where the bosses are the “smartest people in the room” you’re probably not going to change their way of thinking. But don’t go without a fight! You owe it to yourself, your co-workers and most importantly your customers.