My former Art Director partner, Jon Anderson (now of Anderson Skow Advertising) has a theory and it goes like this >> the number of Dilbert cartoons posted around an office is inversely proportional to the level of worker morale. More Dilbert means lower morale. If Jon's right, then there's got to be a Dilbert-aissance in going on right now in corporate America.
Workplace expert, CEO, and writer Liz Ryan presents "The Worst Workplace Practices By Employers."
1) Forced Ranking Systems: HR requests a manager to rank their reports from best to worst on an Excel spreadsheet and hand it back. There may or may not be any criteria. This list can be used to dole out bonuses or as a layoff line up.
2) Stealing Miles: Companies confiscate frequent flier miles that employees earn by being forced to suffer that boring conference in Minneapolis. In January.
3) Love Contracts: Companies force employees who are sleeping together to sign these in order to indemnify them from any sexual harassment claims.
4) Anti-Moonlighting Policies: This goes beyond standard non-compete clauses to outright forbid the occasional side jobs. God forbid you should try and supplement that joke of a salary by skipping sleep to do a website for a buddy.
5) Salary Verification Requirements: In an attempt to "draft" off your current employer's stinginess, potential employers often require a W-2 to verify exactly how underpaid you really are so they underpay you by slightly less.
6) "Stitch Level" Dress Codes: "Word has it that you wear shirts with cross-stitch level 3 French Knots. You're going to have to switch to level 6 or we're going to have to let you go." Companies want to tell you exactly what dressing "appropriately" really means. And it doesn't come with a $4000 clothing allowance.
7) Outsourcing Employee Relations: Have a problem with your boss? We have operators standing by in Bhutan. Saves money in the short run...a recipe for a legal disaster in the long run.
8) Radio Silent Recruiting: You reply to their ad. They want to bring you in. You go in and do your thing. And then....nothing. Ever. Not a peep.
9) Internet Snooping Programs: As I type this, some fuckwad in Texas is watching. He could even take over for me if he wanted to. But listen fella, maybe the company should be focusing on my results instead of have you to micro-inspect my every keystroke. It is results, after all, that matter.
10) Golden Parachutes for Sucky Leaders: Ever notice how the company's org chart resembles a pyramid? Well, today's corporation is nothing if not a pyramid scheme. If the employee sucks, they get shown the door. If a CXO sucks, they get shown a beautiful Italian villa with a different Austin Martin behind each of the 10 garage doors.
Employers somehow think that by creating an adversarial relationship with employees that they'll be able to be more profitable. But for every scheme they devise to over-manage employees, there are ten employee schemes to circumvent it. And the longer a company follows these strategies, the more Dilbert cartoons they'll see posted around the office.
Beginning Blame Transfer...NOW!