Many American businesses treat their employees like crap

Treat their employees like crap? Not all American businesses.

But many do. With some exceptions.

A recent article by Business Insider discussed how one CEO paid employees $2,000 to go on vacation.

As a result, employees are happier and more productive.

This isn’t big news or even rocket science.

Of course they are happier.

But why do many American businesses treat their employees like crap?

The term is “turn and burn” – bosses squeeze what they want out of their employees, and when the staff member leaves (or drops dead), there’s a ready labor supply ready to jump in to fill that staff member’s shoes.

But really, how far does that get you?

Companies treat their employees like crap many ways, including:

Crappy job titles.

Companies give employees lower-sounding job titles that don’t reflect the employee’s actual job duties.

Real motivation: many employers want to avoid a title “upgrade” because, of course, that means an immediate employee request for higher pay. (Employer: “Gotta keep those costs down!”)

Crappy management.

Management refuses (or ignores the need) to deal with a toxic employee and just lets the situation fester.

I don’t know if it is because the manager likes to play games pitting staff against each other, or if they simply don’t know what to do.

That’s why leaders fail.

Toxic employees mean that other staff are constantly visiting with their co-workers to complain about the situation, rather than working.

So, Boss, how are those productivity levels working for ya then?

Crappy handling of layoffs / RIFs (reduction in force).

Several friends have suffered getting a pink slip.

They weren’t being laid off because of poor performance; it was an economic decision. That’s fair.

The way they were treated was crappy, which involved being told to drop what they were doing, pack their things, and be escorted off the premises.

Like a criminal.

Up until that moment, they were trusted, productive staff members.

That’s just plain and simple- super crappy.

Crappy vacation policies.

Someone I knew worked at a company that had very stringent vacation policies which didn’t provide 2 weeks vacation until after 5 years of employment.

He wanted to go on a trip and offered to take non-paid time off.

They said no.

Please, someone, tell me how tired, stressed out employees who feel under-valued really are going to bust their butts to be top performers? Where’s the motivation?

And by the way, is it 5pm somewhere because this is the kind of job that makes people start drinking.

Crappy hiring processes.

Inconsistent (and often biased) hiring processes often place under-qualified people over people who are perfectly positioned to step in.

This results in a perfect recipe for an implosion.

Trust me.

Crappy succession planning.

Similar to above, the “pet” employee of the supervisor gets promoted while the people who do the day-to-day heavy lifting are neglected.

Another ingredient for a crappy work environment.

And, there’s nothing worse than being handed an empty promise that you’re next in line for a higher job title (or even raise), and while you are waiting your “turn,” the boss reneges.

Crappy corporate culture.

Going back to the first part of this post about the CEO who paid employees to take vacation… many bosses are cultivating a crappy corporate culture.

Many people can’t quite “let go” on vacation, let alone actually go on one, because there is a palatable fear of missing out.

But after the Great Recession of 2007-2009, people lost their sense of job security.

They can’t relax because they don’t feel like employers have their back.

American employers have a lot of work to do to improve how they handle employee relations, and need to take the time to look past their P&L statements to realize that treating their employees like crap actually ends up hurting the company in the long run.