Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Ways to make expensive employees quit...

Today's topic is ways to make experiencedexpensive employees quit. For many employers, manhours per payroll dollar is considered more important than having experienced and dedicated people around. This is what permits outsourcing to countries such as India to be marginally successful. Likewise the goal of IT executives and enterprise architects in many verticals is to focus on expense reduction vs enabling top line growth and therefore the result is to turn as many jobs as possible into commodity positions.

Below are some strategies that IT executives can consider to get rid of otherwise talented individuals...

  • Simply fire them. The courts have long ruled that employers may legally make layoff decisions based on salary; even if it causes a disparate impact on a particular age group (such as older workers).

  • Have a family-unfriendly workplace. Families are bad things to allow employees to have. For one thing, families tend to object when workers donate countless hours of unpaid overtime to the company. For another, insuring families can be considerably more expensive than insuring single employees. Providing benefits like childcare and such is a BAD idea.

  • Unless looking for potential management material; try to find employees who aren't assertive. The type who got beaten up in high school are great candidates, they'll likely not object when asked to come in on Sundays, too.

  • Craft schedules so every project is always behind. Crisis can be an excellent motivational tool; especially when you can point to the schedule and show the team that it's their fault they are late, and their responsibility to meet the artificial deadline.

  • Have generous (on the surface) vacation packages to lure people in, but have a "use it or lose it" policy. Make sure that employees are so busy they can never use it, and must always lose it. Accrual of vacation is a bad thing; it's debt on your books and employees might think they can save it up and cash it in at a higher rate of pay than when they earned it.

  • The global economy has changed the focus of companies, moving them away from the human aspects towards more process orientation. You wouldn't know it watching from the outside, but enterprises are now leaner and meaner, with a capital "M". They have no loyalty and do little to encourage loyalty. The current playbook of enterprise architecture feels a lot like it has been borrowed from the management ranks of Wal-Mart. Maybe we have cheaper trinkets in the store because of all this, but it can make the quality of life for the masses suck.

    Normally, I believe that liberalism is a mental disorder but think there is some merit in the way that folks across the pond think. Europeans have figured out something us stubborn self-centered American's haven't figured out yet and that is that few want to trade peace of mind and general quality of life for cheap widgets. Maybe this confirms my belief that enterprise architects in Europe and especially UK are generally smarter than their American counterparts...

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