What If?

When is the last time you looked for a job? I have been blessed with a job and career I love and haven’t wanted or needed to look myself recently. However, I have talked to several friends lately who are looking. Based on their experiences, times have changed which prompted these thoughts and questions from my own experience and peculiar perspective.

External Communication Matters

Has business etiquette changed so much that what was once common practice, courtesy, and professionalism in business communications been discarded? If you interviewed for a job at an organization and were told they would let you know their decision in a couple of weeks and that turned into two months, then three would that experience change your perception of that organization?

Would you even want to work there if they did call again?

What if they did call again after three plus months and said there was another opening (when they had not even notified you what happened with the original position you interviewed for)?

What if you did STILL want to work there and called them back and left a message that same day and they went dark again and did not return your phone call?

Would you tell anyone else you talk to about this lack of common courtesy and professionalism at this organization?

The question I would be asking myself is, if the organization does not care enough to treat me with respect during the hiring process (when they are usually trying to exhibit the positive reasons for someone wanting to work there) is there any reason to expect they will treat me with respect if I was working there?  How organizations handle their interactions with potential employees speaks volumes to those potential employees. They will talk to others about their experience.

Word of mouth is a powerful force and negative experiences travel much faster and farther than positive ones.

Internal Actions Matter

What if you worked for an organization for many years, had really grown and excelled at your job, loved your job and the impact you were having on your clients and those working with you, and you always received good reviews from your supervisors and your clients loved you?

What if an opportunity arose for you to move up to the next level in that organization and were hoping this would be a great career move for you so you followed the proper procedures to apply for that position?

What if you expected, or at least hoped, your organization would consider your loyalty, record of service and qualifications would make you a viable candidate for this new role?

What if you learned you were one of many qualified applicants of which NONE were even called in for an interview?

What if you discovered the “leader” of the organization had decided who they were going to hire before the job was even posted and never planned to interview anyone, making the job posting a farce?

What if this happened over and over again?

Would it raise any red flags or questions in your mind as to the motive behind these actions?

Would you have any reason to expect to be treated fairly in that organization in the future?

Would you apply again when another career opportunity was “posted”?

Morale Matters

Treating employees with this level of disdain and disrespect does have a negative affect on employee morale wherever it is practiced. It works every time it is tried.

I don’t know how that display of arrogance, disdain and disrespect would make you feel but can give you a few thoughts about how it would make me feel. It would make me rethink the regard and respect I previously held for that organization. It would be a demotivating experience, to put it mildly, and force me to seek and consider other opportunities where my efforts would be appreciated.

I would expect my co-workers and colleagues to hold similar feelings.

I would expect this low morale to affect the quality of service ALL employees would be able to provide to the clients of the organization.

It is just human nature. If you are not happy in your job you cannot perform up to your potential.

I would also expect the number of clients to decrease over time as those with more experience leave the organization and less experienced replacements are hired.

I would expect word of mouth to spread the word about what it is really like to work in this organization (see word of mouth above).

I would expect all of these factors to have a negative and damaging effect on the integrity of the organization.

Once integrity is lost it is very difficult to re-establish.

What if these practices were allowed to continue? The organization would not be hiring and promoting the best candidates for available positions. The reputation of the organization would suffer. Future best candidates would no longer bother to apply. Employee morale would be low. All these factors would be detrimental to the long-term success of the organization.

What if all these “what ifs” were real and existed in your organization? What would you do? Sadly, I suspect this scenario is not hypothetical but reality for more people than you know.

You Don’t Build Organizations

An expectation for any organization to treat its employees and potential employees with respect should not be an exceptional expectation. It should be the norm. Organizations are made up of people. Those people make choices. Once those choices are made the consequences or benefits of those choices are realized.

You don’t build organizations. You build people and the people build the organization. The opposite also holds true. You destroy your organization when you degrade, disrespect and tear down the people who helped build it.

There Is Hope

Working in an oppressive work environment with an obvious lack of organizational leadership as described above reminds me of the story of Joseph. One of my favorite scripture verses from his story that might provide some hope for you if you do find yourself in such an environment is Genesis 50:20. Joseph was speaking to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery many years before, as they were reunited.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20

God has a unique plan for us all even when we are walking through trying times. His plan for you may be leaving your current organization for a better opportunity elsewhere or it could be staying right where you are and continuing to provide exceptional service to your clients in spite of the circumstances. Both are valid choices.

My hope and prayer for you, if this is your current situation, is for God to grant you both perseverance and wisdom.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 7/26/2015