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Holiday Message to a CEO: Employees are Not Costs, They are Human Beings

A Holiday message to CEO's across the east end.

It is the season of joy, love and the giving of gifts. In recent years giving has been influenced by the perceived notion that since the downturn, costs must be contained. Therefore giving must be reduced, adjusted or ended.

Holiday parties at some firms have been eliminated, or cut back to "no spouses or guests". Holiday gifts and small cash bonuses for all employees have been eliminated in too many firms to pad bottom lines for executive bonuses based on keeping costs down to battle reduced sales of the downturn. This is terrible, really terrible, because it defines who we are as a society.

I know one media company holding functions to raise thousands for charities as it has frozen the pay of it's employees with it's CEO using bully like tactics saying, "I can pick up this phone and have a hundred people in here interviewing for your job for less money." Then perhaps cutting prices paid to free-lance workers, using phrases like, "it's an honor to be able to work for us."

The ego of CEO's and their greed has made them make decisions to treat employee's like costs, and not as family. "Use them then lose them" is not how you grow a business and a community on the east end but how to create lasting ill will. I know of a local business owner who dressed as santa and went around the Hampton's giving out new $2 bills at Holiday time. It was a symbol of good will. Now CEO's are figuring out ways to guilt workers into working longer hours, to make more company profits, without increasing their pay.

It's criminal, almost a war crime, in fact it is a war crime on decency. There is a responsibility of being an employer. The work place is to be a place of honor where good work is done and people treated with respect for their labor. The workers are to be appreciated with raises for their commitment to make the business prosper or in hard times survive to prosper again. Too many CEO's are using humans as their road to bigger bonuses, new luxury cars, to pay off huge mortgages, or worse stroking their ego's.

When I was young the phrase CEO was hardly ever used. However a new culture has emerged, a new class of businessmen who, in their minds, are entitled to be inhuman, indecent and greedy so that they can prosper. Everyone of them wants to be former GE CEO Jack Welch.

A real manager, takes care of his players thus creating a winning team. There is a respect and love on a certain level. Today, too often, it's all about what's in it for me, my package, and how do I grow my salary.

Lastly I learned first hand years ago how, happy proud workers, being respected with timely earned pay raises, increase productivity and how good morale rubs off on a company, it's product, it's image,and it's bottom line. When a scourge hangs Christmas lights and ignores his employees, he is just calling out attention to the community, that employee's are cost, not human beings.

Happy Holidays, remember it's about giving, even to employees.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Drtee-Dancer December 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Thank you Stinker - think you expressed it very clearly.
bonacbill December 20, 2012 at 06:53 PM
TJ, with all due respect, your article is completely one sided. How about the very small local business owners who are barely able to pay their bills, which is many of us, especially during winter. How about the employees who are constantly showing up late, calling in sick (or from jail asking for bail!-serious story), stealing from you, or how about the ones that let you carry them all through the winter when you can't afford it, and then leave for another job right before your crazy summer season starts? There are more of us out here in that situation than large greedy CEO-run corporations. We also deal with local people who do not shop in your local store, but are first to ask you for a donation! Try to remember there are 2 sides to every story.
T.J. Clemente December 20, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Bonacbill-I worked/owned a family business for 32 years so I understand your points. I bet you don't call yourself a CEO, rent limo's to drive you around the Hampton, eat at all the posh restaurants, then stiff your employee's with take-aways. I know one such company on the east end(Southampton) and of others.
bonacbill December 21, 2012 at 01:34 AM
The appropriate thing then would be to name those specific companies, instead of painting all business owners with the "greedy CEO" brush. It creates negativity towards all business owners, most of whom are barely scraping by in this recession. If you have a gripe with one company, you should be calling them instead of spreading such vitriol, especially at this time of year and with recent terrible events in this country. Possibly you should not be a person who has the privilege of being given a local blog, you seem to be using it irresponsibly.
Free 2B Me December 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM
. . Who is John Galt? . .

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