Cutting Room: Stop the bully managers

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Unfortunately redundancies are now a reality in the telecoms space.

With Nokia asking staff to take voluntary redundancy, and Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone both announcing up to 500 staff will lose their jobs, the reality of the recession is becoming more and more clear.

But it appears not everyone can see this.

Staff in stores have been saying for some time that sales targets are increasingly difficult to achieve, but they are doing the utmost to get there. Indeed it is in their financial interests to do so.

But as the economy deteriorates, staff targets keep being raised.
News reaches me of staff now being pushed in to impossible situations instead of receiving help.

The pressure for sales results in contract customers being tricked in to thinking they are receiving a great deal and being flogged unnecessary or unwanted accessories. This suggests something is wrong.

Prepay sales continue to rise at a level some in the retail sector claim to be unrealistic. So it is small wonder our old friend, ‘the box breaker’, gets involved to offer a helping and wanting hand.

It seems now, more than ever before, staff truly are ‘damned if they do and damned if they don’t’.

I have heard some startling news regarding area managers allegedly using bully-boy tactics. I hear of threats of dismissal to anyone who does not hit their targets. Anyone speaking against this pressure is also threatened with the sack. Surely this is the wrong approach.

I have personally seen how some ‘old school’ managers manage their teams.

It may help the sales. But often it causes nothing but distress to staff and has no place in today’s retail environment.

There is nothing wrong with pressure. In fact it’s an essential guideline.

But when staff are being forced to take risks to keep their jobs, and have to tolerate the wrath of someone unable to manage without shouting or threatening dismissal, something needs to change.

Full article in Mobile News issue 434 (March 9, 2009).

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