Ever noticed how some employees can get away with highway robbery while other’s get the axe for their first offense. For years there has been an old adage, “Last one hired, first one fired.” In those instances where the axed party was recently hired, perhaps the old adage stands true. But what about those cases when you weren’t the last one hired?
Just as there are good and bad employees, there are good and bad employers. Not all companies respect and reward the same behaviors. Take for example the story of the woman in New Zealand fired for confrontational emails written in all caps and bold. Her company deemed that behavior unacceptable and fired her. Even the court that ruled that she should have been warned before being fired still deemed the behavior confrontational and unacceptable. Nonetheless, most of us can easily point to any number of companies where the highest executives communicate in that way and see nothing wrong with sending underlings home covered in tears determined to Ben and Jerry themselves to sleep.
The truth is, some behavior should be unilaterally discouraged. Unfortunately, not every company has the ethical or moral mission to ensure they hire quality employees and that everyone interacts respectfully. Some CEO’s still grasp desperately to an antiquated rule book of insults, threats and berating to get results from employees. If you work for a company led by that type of thinking odds are your direct supervisor will “follow the leader”.
In companies where aggression and disdain are hot stocks, you’ll likely find yourself on the chopping block early if you are not the type to take abuse. Chances are those people that take everything on the chin will keep their jobs and live to suck up another day.
Now before you give up and decide to sell oranges down by the river out of a van, there are many companies that encourage and reward environments that promote healthy interactions and professional decorum. They insist that professionals refrain from behaving in a manner that berates, undermines or insults other employees. They start by hiring employees that are intelligent, educated and have a professional appearance and etiquette. Starting with great staff is 99 percent of the work in creating a great company.
That being said, it’s hard to know which type of company it is until you are one of the team huddled around the water cooler griping about the pay. So do your due diligence before you clock in for the first time. Do a Google search for the company, the boss, the H.R. contact you’ve been talking to, anybody affiliated with the company. Employees have been disciplined a lot lately for bashing their bosses or company online so if the company is a lemon there should be plenty of griping out in cyberspace. But at the end of the day you have a decision to make, if you really want the job or really need the money but you see bad mouthing by current or former employees, how bad do you really want it. In today’s economy it might be worth biting your lip to get some positive cash flow pouring in.