Hugh Pickens writes:
Quentin Hardy reports at the NYT that a leading maker of cloud-based software for running corporate human resources and financial operations has announced new products that provide the kind of data analysis that Netflix uses to recommend movies, LinkedIn has to suggest people you might know, or Facebook needs to put a likely ad in front of you. One version of the software, called Insight Applications, predicts which high-performing employees are likely to leave a company in the next year; it then offers possible actions (more money, new job) that might make them stay. "We’re surprised how accurately we can predict someone will leave a job," says Mohammad Sabah, director of data science at Workday. The goal is to predict future business outcomes to take advantage of opportunities and cut risk levels. One future product may be the ability to predict who will and won’t make their sales quotas, and suggest who should be hired to improve the outcome. "Making an employee happy, improving the efficiency of a company these are hard problems that affect corporations."
Indeed, much good advice there. I was in upper management (Dir. of IT) and during a management meeting a woman who ran the Customer Service department referred to her team as "worker bees". I had a very vocal and strong discussion with her right then and there. I had to explain that those people were *people* not bees and deserved respect. Took a good chunk of time out of the management meeting. They were trying to cut costs by eliminating breaks for hourly workers (illegal), find ways to get them to work longer without pay (illegal), etc. And nobody, not even the president even considered for a second that all that stuff was just plain wrong.
I always treated my co-workers with respect, made sure there was no overtime (they were salaried) and generally went out of my way to make sure their careers were meaningful for them. I had one rule: If you tell me you can do something in a certain time, and you find out you can't, then all you have to do is come to me as soon as you see you're in trouble. It was my job to see that the job being done had the proper resources, or perhaps more specific training was needed or whatever else might be needed to meet our goals. It was my problem to figure out how to make it work out as that was *my* job.
I never fired anyone who followed that advice. Now the ones who said yes, all was well and on track only to find out they were 30% complete on deadline day, and never let me help them. They were shown the door.