Need to vent a bit so hear me out if you'd like... 10 years with the company... St. Jude Medical is hard to describe it’s certainly a changing landscape...
Let me start with Compensation: We went from 5 percent profit sharing, to those stupid $25 gift cards during the holidays. Don’t you start me on that "we donated money to American Red Cross on your behalf" part – by the way, who’s claiming this on tax returns?
Next, Culture - We went from regular fun group outings and project celebrations, to celebrating SOME projects at a park where we did our own potluck. However, they flew in managers/directors from other sites – OK, this makes sense. So they paid for plane tickets and but they did not want to pay for our food. We had a kind of fancy holiday party, a crappy summer party and a big Halloween party where every group dressed up and did skits - hahahah.... until we were told that having fun makes it look like we're not being efficient and productive. The management had a solution – let’s discontinue all fun events…
Recognition is next: When I joined, it was normal that after 2 years a person is to be promoted (granted that they need to deserve it – this is how it should be), the next promotion would come after five years… Don’t’ get me wrong, this was not a rule, but rather a trend that seemed fairly consistent. Then we were told that no one should ever be getting 5 ratings (on a 1-5 scale) – OK, you’d get one if you were a Superman or a Godlike figure, and 4's should be handed only in exceptional cases... Now even our Fours are at risk as we've been told that those too are being given out too freely. Stupid… In past outstanding engineers were given stock options, but that's not done anymore either that I know of. Check this out - I got a hundred bucks at my five-year anniversary, and $200 at my 10-year. This is all taxable, so you can cut it in half.
Attrition and Retention: Before it was very hard to get fired (both a good thing and a bad thing), our folks rarely quit – we loved working here. Fast forward four major layoff rounds later (some had nothing to do with performance) and people are leaving in droves – it’s like a mass exodus. This particular group that got fired were mostly working on a large remediation effort (not by choice either) in response to a major FDA warning letter. Open reqs are created to replace vacancies (OK, fine you say) only to be frequently closed by management due to cost saving efforts.
Infrastructure: A memo was distributed stating that we reached our limit of network bandwidth – whatever that means. They categorically filter out websites deemed non-business due to this – OK, how stupid this is, really??? It’s just another example of diminishing flexibility instead of telling users to limit their use of the network and trusting them to be self-policing.
Upper Management: When things are good, they tend to behave good - when things are not good (like now), then management has actually said to us "you're not contributing enough" and "stop whining and get the work done"… We had a meeting to discuss delivering a particular project on time but nothing constructive was discussed – they’d be like ‘nobody is here in the office after 6 p.m.’ but they do not consider how many people log in from home and work from home… Upper management proceeded to lay out three ways we can deliver:
And then proceeded to tell us why the two will never happen and this leaves us with work harder. OK, got to love this rationale – this is all while they take long vacations and they leave early etc.
Don’t you even start me on this one.
It happened again today, I survived, I stopped counting. I wish you all good luck and God Bless.