Cost wise and employee engagement foolish

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Aug 11

When companies start looking at ways to decrease cost instead of increasing revenue, Cubicle Warriors usually take the hit. This happens through hiring freezes, layoffs, reduced bonuses (for Cubicle Warriors, not the C-level executives making that decision), and layoffs.

Some of the cost reductions have no material impact on the bottom line, but significant impact on the willingness to be engaged in their work – and help the company back to profitability.

My readers send me stories. This one is typical of being cost wise and employee engagement foolish.

No doubt, the company is losing money and needs to cut costs. But given the siege mentality of the current layoffs, cost cutting, and worrying about your position at this company, why would this make any sense to do in a break room in a building with no cafeteria?

  • eliminating paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, flavored coffee creamer, sugar and sugar substitutes. Plus reducing the number of tea selections. Coffee will remain.
  • Encouraging everyone to bring in their own reusable cups, plates, and eating utensils.

Then wrap all of this around it being a cost cutting and a “green” initiative.

I understand the need to cut costs. But you are not going to save the company by embracing black coffee and three kinds of tea for employees. It tells employees in this building they are not as important as the employees in the Corporate Headquarters building where this isn’t being implemented. It tells employees that the company is being cheap with them while continuing their high bonuses for executives (that didn’t get cut).

Bigger costs cuts, of course, have been implemented. But the strategy should be how best to serve customers with the best products at a company size that makes sense. Not whether you have flavored coffee creamer in a break room.

What’s the most employee disengagement cost cut you’ve seen?

  • Rick says:

    A salary freeze that, fortunately, lasted only about six months. But for a while, that was one heck of a disincentive.

  • Scot Herrick says:

    @Rick – Another good one. This is especially true if upper management doesn’t do the same thing with their salaries and bonuses.

  • >