More Shootings Triggered By Layoffs: How Do Companies Treat Employees?

English: Stanford University Arial View. pd-se...

English: Stanford University Arial View. pd-self No rights reserved (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More Shootings Triggered By Layoffs

How Do Companies Treat Employees?

Two more shootings triggered by layoffs have people talking about unhappy employees.  While this violence is not justifiable, and there are other issues at play (such as gun control), many Americans are having discussions about how our companies treat our workers.

Bellwether Materials CEO Priscilla Burgess recently wrote an article for SustainableIndustries.com that was so provocative, I wanted to blog about her points here.

Nowadays companies like Google, SAP, and Intel tout their “sustainable corporation” credentials.  Saving the environment is critical and commendable.  But no one discusses the human beings who work for our companies as part of the sustainability equation.

Stanford University’s Dr. Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, is conducting current research on the human factor in the sustainable organization.  His argument is that corporations would benefit if they prioritized employee well-being and health in addition to shareholder profits, social responsibility/charity, and the environment.

These are the days of disposable employees and declining offerings of company health insurance or other benefits.  Work is more stressful than ever, with skyrocketing reports of worker depression and stress and the constant fear of layoffs, since the company’s bottom line is as paramount as it is fickle in this economy.

British Petroleum, or BP, puts out vast advertising campaigns discussing its environmental credentials.  Meanwhile the company was fined $87 million for its disregard for employee safety that lead to an explosion that killed 15 of their own workers.

English: The C&H Mining Company provided a lib...

English: The C&H Mining Company provided a library and bathhouse for its employees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Walmart’s CEO touts his company’s commitment to the environment, but his employees make 15% less than comparable retailers and have shrinking access to health benefits.

Studies show that lack of medical insurance leads to poorer health and higher death rates than any other variable, such as drinking alcohol or smoking.

Companies are simply a group of people working together to accomplish something.  Wouldn’t it make sense to keep the workers healthy and happy?

“Given the profound effects of organizations and work arrangements on the psychological and physical well-being of the people who work in them and the growing interest in sustainability, it is interesting that the human dimension of sustainability remains largely in the background,” Dr. Pfeffer points out.

Related Links:

http://csi.gsb.stanford.edu/building-sustainable-organizations-human-factor

https://www.facebook.com/employeeengagementnetwork

http://jeffreypfeffer.com/

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