Are you “headcount” or “employee”?

Are you “headcount” or “employee”?

It appears that these are hard times for some people in some places. Storied corporations with blemishless brands and their celebrated CEOs who appear on virtually every global “list” are being hauled over the coals for their decisions to layoff more and more employees.

A great brand was among other things supposed to signify “safety”. “Reliability”. That’s why employees for whom “safety” was a career anchor chose big brands. Safety also meant the assurance of a steady pay check and the ability of the organization to absorb the inevitable shocks of the market place.

But then, many did not read the fine print. When you are paid at the 75th percentile or 90th percentile of the global market, the fine print often says “the risk of doing business is shared by you”.

If you are a day one company or are a day one employee, you are both choosing a “market place relationship” .

Things like “long-term orientation”, “seeing you through difficult times” are not part of the value proposition when you sign up for the “75th percentile or 90th percentile and day one job deal”.

While all that I am saying sounds unempathetic (which I normally am not), sad reality is that this is the new deal. The risk of doing business will increasingly be shared by employees as their pay becomes a big part of the cost of doing business.

Do these CEOs suffer their decisions. Perhaps they do. Do they have a choice? Well,, if the “shareholders” are “sway holders”, it may be difficult.

I can say this for sure – if employees work at a place where they have an identity (beyond their identity card) it is perhaps less likely that they will be treated in a manner in which headcount is treated.

So, what deal deal are you signing up for?