The Human Being is always the center of interest

Human beings are not "commodities" or "resources", but are creative and social beings in a productive enterprise.

In a country like the US, where most employees have practically no rights to speak of (i.e., fewer rights than most people generally have in Western Europe, especially in heavily unionized nations such as France and Germany, but more rights than people do in, say, India---so, everything is relative, I suppose), it used to be that corporations whose Human Resources department was tainted with unfair labor practices, might eventually acquire a bad reputation. For those corporations to which such things mattered, this could prove inconvenient in the long run, as it could make it hard for some of those companies to get positive press, recruit new talent and close new rounds of financing. This is the reason why "keeping up appearances" rapidly became foremost to most corporations and is today the prime directive of most Human Resources.

Not anymore...

For the moment being, the "economy" has freed them. Companies that are making layoffs are generally perceived as doing so out of necessity and more often than not will be given a pat on the back for being financially prudent.

And so, it is no surprise that corporations have been using the current economic downturn as an excuse to shed the workers they feel like getting rid of. The current economic climate allows them to do so without any real fear of wrongful termination lawsuits or concerns over any negative press or too much legal scrutiny around the choice of what employees they are letting go.
What are you saying? No, of course not -- there isn’t any ageism at Paean Knaves Inc. Besides, we have made sure to layoff that token young new recruit -- the CEO didn’t like her very much anyway. Not his type, you know. Would you believe that she is one of those -- an environmental activist. She once suggested that we should use recycled paper - the nerve of the girl. Look people, we are not breaking any law, here. We are Paean Knaves. We are not laying off “people,” we are cutting “positions." Those are hard times for everyone. Nothing personal. It’s not us. It’s the “economy. Yes, we are currently opening a new branch in Cedar Rapids.......what has that got to do with anything?”
Now corporations don’t have to go to the trouble of explaining themselves when they shed workers. They just get lumped in with the others who are also “thinking ahead.”

Some Managing Directors can hardly contain themselves:
Layoff “B” players and hire “A” players on the cheap. “If you have B players on your team that you look at getting rid of, this is a perfect excuse to start getting rid of those folks. If there are A players that you are looking to hire, go back and put down an offer that is not necessarily what they were asking and you’ll probably get those people to join the company”.
For some, it’s just a game:

On Thursday February 12, one US firm after another lined up to announce layoffs to take effect on Friday the 13th, out of all dates.

Why Friday the 13th?

One rumor is that a group of managing partners had gotten together and struck a gentlemen's agreement to make this the day for announcing firm layoffs. The theory is that an individual corporation won't take nearly the public relations hit it otherwise might if it were one of only a couple of corporations to announce firings within a given week.

Others say it is not so and that the Friday the 13th timing was just an unfortunate and unforeseen coincidence. What else could it have been? Their explanation is that no corporation wanted to be so heartless and inhumane as to fire people during the holidays, and so the layoff announcement had been withheld during December and early January.

I don't know. I heard that Human Resources have been helping employees out during this period of job cuts by including in their separation packet a survival guide on the five stages of loss after a layoff and the ways to cope with it.

Who says that corporations have no heart?

The Human Being is always the center of interest.

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