Disposable Coffee CupIf employees are an organization’s most important assets, then why do I feel like a commodity?

Maybe you do, too.

After 9/11, the major airlines quickly realized that air travel would drop severely. They were facing a disaster and predicted a 20% or more reduction in air passenger travel.

All the airlines but one quickly reduced operating expenses by laying off personnel. The one airline that didn’t lay off any employees was Southwest. Instead, Southwest sold off planes.

Southwest is the only airline that has remained profitable. In fact, since the fourth quarter of 1976, Southwest Airlines has paid dividends to shareholders for 151 consecutive quarters. Southwest has remained profitable for 41 years while most airlines have notoriously lost stacks of money.

So how many companies ask loyalty of their employees, yet are not willing to reciprocate?

Ironically, there has been numerous studies that conclusively demonstrate layoffs do not improve company profitability in the long-term, only in the short-term.

Today we live in a world where 70% of employees are not engaged with their work, and 20% of these employees are actively sabotaging their employer.

How did we get here?


I’ve experienced the corporate world where layoffs were the easy solution. We cut the bottom 10% of the workforce. Of course, finding the bottom 10%  is subjective. We used an arbitrary measure of performance that is based upon the supervisor’s judgment.

Next, over time, our best performers found more stable work at other companies. We were left with the mediocre 80%. The employees remaining, not wanting to be affected by the next round of layoffs, were too frightened to speak up about anything that seemed amiss, creating a cover-your-ass environment. Little of value was done, but everyone was busy as could be. And, of course, everyone was busy keeping their supervisor happy.

And ignoring customers.

Customers create jobs, not companies.

Are you taking care of your job or are you taking care of your customers?

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