Organizations today, whether starting up or long-lived, have mostly adapted to the dynamics of 21st century workplace culture. It’s a necessity, as the priorities of industries have changed to reflect the emergence of a global economy.
However, some things are harder to change than others. They remain as relics of a bygone era with different values from the industries of today. At times these practices and habits are mostly harmless, but the worst ones contradict everything that elevates the 21st century workplace. Each week, we’ll pick apart one of the five worst workplace culture relics, and detail why and how they should be phased out.
Abusing legal loopholes to avoid obligations to former employees
In theory, labor laws are the primary line of defense for an aggrieved party in an employer-employee relationship. Yes, it works both ways: employers can take advantage of their employees, but employees can also engage in acts that undermine their employer.
Situations where this only applies one way are rare. However, those exceptions include the process of an employee leaving their employer. It is a process where, sadly, unscrupulous employers do whatever they can to spend as little as possible, regardless of whether or not the former employee gets what they lawfully deserve.
No law is perfect, and there are loopholes that these employers can take advantage of to excuse themselves from providing what the very same law obliges them to. Instead of understanding and adhering to the spirit of the law, these employers capitalize on the wording and structure of the law to save money at the expense of professionals who served them for years.
It’s unusually striking that because of this workplace culture relic, some employers can still exercise great power and pressure over a professional even after they have already left the organization. It’s certainly a horrible and undesirable predicament for any professional. Just imagine: your former employer is using the labor law system to escape their obligation from you! It’s the exact opposite of what labor laws should be helping professionals achieve, which is just and fair post-employment recompense.
In our previous commentary on employee benefits, we posed a question for reflection: “If you don’t have the skill to balance your organization’s expenses and the welfare of your employees, why did you even go into business in the first place?”
This question is also very relevant in terms of taking care of former employees who served loyally and devoted much of their time and effort to the organization’s goals. Fulfilling obligations to employees both current and former, as mandated by law, are the best gesture of appreciation for the collective value of everything the former employee has given for the organization.
Conversely, using loopholes in the law and in its processes to force current or former employees to waive their rights is one of the most unsavory activities an employer can engage in. It undermines whatever good image the organization is trying to project.
Whatever a former employee is trying to settle with a former employer, it’s a one-time gesture that the employer only has to extend once for that employee. If the employer is able to provide it for them, chances are they’ll never have any reason to hound or badmouth the employer. Thus, it’s also a great way to build good will for the organization’s brand.
Employers today have to leave behind any notion that investing on professionals should stop when they are no longer connected with organization.