Employees not pets

LETTER

Re: Recruiting well vital, September 4 Business Quarterly column.

It is unfortunate that BDO, a company that offers human resources advice to many Gisborne businesses, believes that comparing employees to “dogs” is acceptable.

When I got in touch directly to tell them so, one of the partners at BDO told me it’s “unfortunate” that I had missed the correct context for their article. They even insisted that the insensitive comments were “Footrot Flat-ish…” Don’t kid yourselves, I thought. Murray Ball had wit.

All employees deserve to be treated with respect. I can’t help but think that all their terrible analogy did was give us a revealing glimpse into their true attitude towards industrial relations, and it’s not exactly 21st century thinking.

Dogs have owners. Employers have employees, with rights as outlined in many statutory Acts — including being treated with respect and dignity, and not being trivialised as some kind of owned “pet”.

Good, motivated employees provide important support in helping employers achieve their goals, meet their targets, grow their businesses. When you compare them to dogs and imply they have no driving will or goals of their own, it’s demoralising and offensive and will more than likely make them feel like they aren’t part of the same struggle — the same project — as the employer. No wonder the author has so many horror stories about unmotivated employees.

BDO, your weak attempt at levity totally missed the mark. You might tell yourselves that it’s satire, but I think it’s very catty. Actually, on second thoughts, cats have much more class than that.

Margaret Takoko

Re: Recruiting well vital, September 4 Business Quarterly column.

It is unfortunate that BDO, a company that offers human resources advice to many Gisborne businesses, believes that comparing employees to “dogs” is acceptable.

When I got in touch directly to tell them so, one of the partners at BDO told me it’s “unfortunate” that I had missed the correct context for their article. They even insisted that the insensitive comments were “Footrot Flat-ish…” Don’t kid yourselves, I thought. Murray Ball had wit.

All employees deserve to be treated with respect. I can’t help but think that all their terrible analogy did was give us a revealing glimpse into their true attitude towards industrial relations, and it’s not exactly 21st century thinking.

Dogs have owners. Employers have employees, with rights as outlined in many statutory Acts — including being treated with respect and dignity, and not being trivialised as some kind of owned “pet”.

Good, motivated employees provide important support in helping employers achieve their goals, meet their targets, grow their businesses. When you compare them to dogs and imply they have no driving will or goals of their own, it’s demoralising and offensive and will more than likely make them feel like they aren’t part of the same struggle — the same project — as the employer. No wonder the author has so many horror stories about unmotivated employees.

BDO, your weak attempt at levity totally missed the mark. You might tell yourselves that it’s satire, but I think it’s very catty. Actually, on second thoughts, cats have much more class than that.

Margaret Takoko

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