In today’s cutthroat business world, where profit margins reign supreme, companies often engage in a cycle of hiring and firing employees as a means to maximise their bottom line.
I just read one devastating news this morning about Grab in Singapore will fire up to 1,000 people to make the business sustainable. 1,000 people! I find this really annoying. These 1,000 people who Grab hired to meet their business objective in the previous reality, are now no longer relevant in their new reality to deliver the next objective. What sort of nonsense is this?
While this practice may be viewed as a necessary evil by some, the toll it takes on individuals’ lives cannot be underestimated. I simply can’t imagine how these 1,000 people’s life will turn out in the next few months. The continuous churn of employees not only causes emotional distress but also has far-reaching consequences for society as a whole. Are companies playing with people’s lives? I want to dig a little deeper, exploring the cruelties of this hiring-and-firing culture and how the employees can prepare themselves early when this happens.
The human impact
When a person is hired, they often come with dreams, aspirations, and a genuine commitment to contribute to the organisation’s success. They invest their time, energy, and talents, hoping for stability and growth. In the end, they simply want a better life for themselves, their elderly parents and their family back home. However, the incessant practice of firing employees disrupts lives in unimaginable ways.
Losing a job can be a devastating experience. No, losing a job is a devastating experience. It uproots individuals from their stable routines, shakes their financial stability, and erodes their self-esteem. The worst of all, their loved ones suffer. For many, their identity and self-worth are closely tied to their careers. The uncertainty and fear that accompany sudden unemployment can plunge people into deep emotional turmoil, causing stress, anxiety, and even depression. The callousness of companies that prioritise profit over people’s livelihoods exacerbates these hardships.
Furthermore, the negative consequences extend beyond the immediate effects on individuals. Families suffer the consequences of unemployment, often struggling to make ends meet and facing many other hardships. The societal fabric is weakened as financial instability ripples through communities, affecting overall well-being. Companies must recognise the profound human impact of their actions and consider the ethical implications of their hiring-and-firing decisions.
Exploitation and disregard for loyalty
One of the cruellest aspects of the hiring-and-firing culture is the exploitation of employees’ loyalty and dedication. Many individuals invest significant time and effort in their work, believing in the long-term prospects of their employment. However, companies often disregard this loyalty, terminating individuals for short-term gains or restructuring purposes to look good in the eyes of the investors. They want to be seen as great in the news too. This lack of reciprocation not only damages the trust between employers and employees but also undermines the very foundations of a healthy work environment.
The consequences of this exploitation go beyond emotional distress. Individuals who have experienced multiple job losses may find it increasingly difficult to secure stable employment, as their resumes become littered with short-term positions. This perpetuates a vicious cycle of vulnerability, making it harder for people to support themselves and their families. It is essential for companies to recognise the value of loyalty and establish practices that prioritise the well-being of their employees.
The illusion of job security
In the face of rapid technological advancements and an increasingly competitive market, job security has become a rarity. Companies often hire individuals with promises of stability and career growth, only to renege on these commitments when it suits their financial interests. This illusory sense of security not only deceives employees but also contributes to a climate of fear and instability within the workforce.
The constant threat of termination can lead to a toxic work environment, where employees are driven by fear rather than innovation and productivity. It stifles creativity and hampers the long-term growth of individuals and organisations alike. Companies should prioritise transparency and honesty in their dealings, ensuring that employees are aware of the risks and challenges they may face, rather than luring them into false senses of security.
The ethical imperative
The hiring-and-firing culture raises important ethical questions about the responsibilities of companies towards their employees. Profit-driven decision-making often ignores the broader implications for individuals and society. It is crucial for companies to embrace a more holistic approach, taking into account the well-being of their employees as an integral part of their success.
Implementing fair labour practices, providing support during transitions, and investing in employee development can help create a more compassionate work environment. Companies should strive to strike a balance between profitability and social responsibility. By doing so, they can foster loyalty, boost morale, and contribute positively to the lives of their employees.
What can you do to prepare yourself if you’re an employee?
When faced with the possibility of sudden termination, employees should consider preparing yourselves for the unexpected. One viable option is to explore entrepreneurship during your non-working hours, particularly in the realm of internet-based businesses. Engaging in such ventures can provide you with a sense of control, financial stability, and the potential for long-term success.
First and foremost, employees should begin by identifying their passions, skills, knowledge and experience during the initial planning stage. This self-reflection helps you understand what type of internet-based business they could pursue. Whether it’s e-commerce, content creation, online consulting, or any other niche, aligning their interests with entrepreneurial endeavours ensures a higher chance of success.
As time goes along, you can dedicate your non-working hours to learning and acquiring those items in a much deeper way. With numerous online resources and platforms available, honing entrepreneurial abilities has never been more accessible. Engaging in online courses, workshops, and networking communities can equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and insights needed to navigate the digital landscape effectively.
To support this motion, invest your time in building a strong online presence and establishing a personal brand. Engaging with potential customers through social media platforms, creating a professional website, and leveraging digital marketing strategies can help attract a target audience. This proactive approach can lead to increased visibility, customer engagement, and ultimately, financial stability.
While entrepreneurship is not without its challenges, it offers individuals a chance to take charge of their lives and create opportunities in the face of uncertainty. Whatever the business is, it will usually become successful with time. At this, you will have something to fall back on just in case things don’t turn out well on the employment side. Internet-based businesses, in particular, have the advantage of providing flexibility and the potential for passive income. By embracing entrepreneurship during their non-working hours, individuals can pave their own path, transforming a potentially devastating situation into one of empowerment and growth.
The hiring-and-firing culture within companies is far from cool; it is a cruel practice that disregards the lives and well-being of individuals. The emotional toll, the exploitation of loyalty, the illusion of security, and the ethical implications are just a few of the consequences of this deeply entrenched cycle. It is imperative for companies to reassess their priorities, embrace transparency, and create a work culture that values its employees as human beings. Only then can we move towards a more compassionate and just society, where individuals’ lives are no longer toyed with for the sake of profit.
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