What Has Happened to Corporate America?

During my long career I have been able to witness the transformation of Corporate America.  Long ago companies had a sense of loyalty to their employees.  This, in turn, contributed to the same feeling by the employees to the companies they worked for.  Sad to say, this is not the situation in Corporate America now.

Now the bottom line is the all important measurement tool of a company’s success, especially if it is a public company that is reporting earnings on a quarterly basis.  If profits are not at the level that top management, its shareholders and the investment analysts believe is acceptable, the first action that companies take now is to have a series of downsizings.  This has led to a transformation of Corporate America that makes life difficult for everyone.

So often corporate America, business America,

are the worst communicators,

because all they understand are facts,

and they cannot tell a story.

They know how to explain their quarterly results,

but they don’t know how to explain what they mean.
Frank Luntz

Another factor that is very prevalent in Corporate America is age discrimination.  This is manifested in early retirement programs that companies offer their senior employees so they can get these higher compensated individuals off the company payroll.  A related factor is that people are not able to retire when they had planned because of a series of market setbacks that have eroded their retirement assets.  But this creates a “Catch 22” situation.  These more senior employees want and need to work longer than they were intending; however, at the same time Corporate America is trying to get these individuals off their payroll and shy away from hiring these more experienced individuals.  No wonder these older workers are becoming increasingly frustrated. 

“Discrimination due to age is one of the great tragedies of modern life.

The desire to work and be useful is what makes life worth living,

and to be told your efforts are not needed

because you are the wrong age is a crime.”
Johnny Ball



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