Thread regarding Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) layoffs

HP’s Work Culture is Fundamentally Hostile to the Very Best Values of Veterans of the USA’s Armed Services

Glassdoor has done some sort of “deep clean” of many-many negative reviews of HP lately, to include reviews that are even several years old! Glassdoor sells HP job advertising, you know… So the below is an edited recycle from there, of a “disappeared” review, as a warning for military vets to NOT work there…

Pro

On the “pro” side here, is this: If you as a veteran see (and can document) repeated offenses (see below), and report them to your boss, then I am fairly confident that you can often thwart the intent of the offenders, and prevent them from turning you into their scapegoat (and target for the next layoff). Yes, I know… Whining about your co-workers offends against the very best values of military veterans (see below). But the work environment at HP has gotten SO hostile to teamwork (and basic human decency), that you’d be doing HP (as well as yourself) a favor, in systematically reporting these things as best as you can document them. It’s a shame that you have to divert effort away from productive labors for HP and HP customers, towards calling down your ruthlessly non-team-playing “co-workers”, but it is what it is. … The below is primarily intended as helpful advice for service veterans struggling with the vicious nature of the current HP-USA work culture (and similar companies with raging in-fighting; I’ll bet there’s more out there, not just HP). Non-veterans may benefit from reading the below, also... For understanding just how bad things have gotten at HP, and for better understanding the cultural (work-style ethics) that military vets bring to the civilian world.

Con

As we joined the services, at first, they told us we were “nobody” (“maggots” or similar)… We were subjected to “hazing” and following senseless orders and rules. Why? I later learned why! To drive out those with large egos (no humility). If you have an ego so large that you cannot humbly set it aside, in the name of your fellow soldiers, and the organization and the larger goals, even when you don’t know “why”, then there’s no room for you, in a very dangerous workplace, where all must work as a team, in order to survive… Egos and even lives must be sacrificed for the good of all. This ego-punishing hazing-harassing period is designed (through cultural evolution) to drive out the “whiners, crybabies, and prima donnas”, who are a hazard to all around them, in dangerous professions. Hazing-harassing of the newbies is found in other dangerous professions as well (police, fire-fighters, oil-field workers, etc.) for the exact same reasons. … When you find this being done to you in an office environment (deliberately humiliating treatment, of usually milder sorts than in the military) for the first few months or so as a “newbie”, then my advice is to smile and march on. Don’t be a whiner… Your new co-workers may just be testing you, to see if you have a thin skin and a large ego. But if it goes on and on, past a few months, they are NOT just testing you anymore; they are setting you up to be the scapegoat for the next round of layoffs! Never-ever forgot, at HP, they have “forced distribution” or “bell curve” performance reviews, and so, you have large temptations to shove your co-workers down, so that you can “pop up”. I have seen it all… Stealing credit from you for your work, trash-talking about you to the boss and everyone, and on and on. You have to tabulate these things and point them out to the boss, if you are to survive, and make HP a better place to work. … In the services, there is an “all together” ethic. Once you get past basic training, you go from being a “nobody” to (slowly) becoming a “somebody”… But a “somebody” ONLY because you’re part of a team! You ALWAYS must rely on teamwork from your fellow soldiers (even soldiers from other nations)… And reply in kind. You are a bunch of DEAD “somebodies” if you forget that! You must assume your fellow soldier is your team-playing co-worker, till proven otherwise. At HP, on the other hand, things have gotten so cut-throat (in the face of “bell curve” reviews and constant layoffs) that you must assume that your co-worker is out to make you look bad, till proven otherwise. … In the services, you have ethics along the lines of these semi-official organizational mottoes that I have seen (this is a mash-up): “No whiners, no crybabies, no prima donnas; Just get it done; Whatever it takes”. In combat, you understand crystal-clear, that when going through literal Hell on Earth, one does NOT linger long to carp and moan. It prolongs the misery, and tears down morale. At HP, whining and moaning is often rewarded! The ones (engineers especially) who can convince the boss that they are super-geniuses, will whine and cry-baby about it when others “bother” them for help or advice. So they can work and concentrate, undisturbed by the “ignorant peons” who are so far below them. The military-style humble team-workers get inundated for help, from others, so they can’t concentrate as much (and they don’t brag as much), so they get laid off. (The REAL heroes are humble… They always say, “I’m just doing my job” when they help you, even heroically help you.) Slowly but surely, the bad elements are driving out the good, at HP. … Then there’s the ethics and integrity thing. Military officers (even senior ones) are driven out (forced to retire) on a regular basis, for lying, or even for tolerating cheating and lying in their organizations. At HP, ALL of the management tells a BIG lie… That there’s no “forced distribution” performance review system! Think about that… To be a member of management at HP, you MUST lie! All of management is forced to tell this lie, all the way down the org charts... They’ll only tell you the truth, after they’re laid off. This lie, and this review system (along with rotten individual worker ethics) is at the root of the non-team-playing. If military officers were all telling the same lie, repeatedly, for years, as is done at HP, then there’d be Congressional hearings and a large purge of officers. I’m still waiting for the equivalent to happen at HP. … In summary, if you as a USA service veteran want to survive at HP, you must invert all of your assumptions about teamwork (your best values). HP “leaders” have turned your co-workers into your enemies! It grinds on the soul of a service veteran…

Advice

Get rid of “forced distribution” performance reviews. At the very-very least, stop LYING about them! I don’t know who you think you’re fooling… All the employees know you’re lying, and we respect you MUCH less, for that. We wonder how many other lies we’re being told. Many-many business and business-management-consultant, respectable organizations’ web sites list HP (among others) as having “forced distribution” performance reviews, so you’re not fooling them, either. And many of them flat-out tell you the same thing that I‘m telling you: This policy kills teamwork! … If you cannot change your HP-destroying policies, then at the VERY least, stop lying, and start rewarding teamwork, and punishing back-stabbing. Else HP is toast! Didn’t you know that those organizations that live by the lie, die by the lie?

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HP's work culture is hostile to The HP Way and the values championed by Bill Hewlett and David Packard.

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