Management’s Notorious Mistakes In Dealing With Employees 


The first and original sin of management is choosing the wrong employees for the right positions, or the right employees for the wrong positions. There is a tendency among many employers to be mesmerized by nicely-written curriculum vitae, without spending enough time to authenticate and verify the facts alleged in such self-serving documents. There is also too much fixation in academic achievements and too little attention fixed on the character and behavior pattern of job applicants. Recruitment firms and specialists do not exert enough effort at background investigation.  

Character checks are limited to those listed by the applicants. Thus, talents coming into organizations turn out to be lemons and burdens to the company, instead of being value-adding assets. 

In compensation and benefits, now called Total Rewards, there is too much stress on the monetary rewards and less on the non-monetary. Most of the time, new and untested personnel are given too much and too soon, even when they have not yet proven themselves. Also, the pay is based more on potentials rather than performance. There is too much premium given to credentials even when the employee does not have enough evidence or track record of extraordinary achievements. In Learning and Development, management often shows excessive reliance on classroom instruction, rather than on-the-job coaching, mentoring, and counseling. There is a disconnect between performance management and learning and development. 

In employee relations, labor relations and industrial relations, now called altogether as Organizational Justice, there is too much bias for legalistic approaches rather than the behavioral techniques. HR and line management pay too much tribute to the literal interpretation and implementation of labor laws, and too limited attention and efforts to building strong and mutually-rewarding relationships between management and the employees. The structures and procedures for coordination and interactions are too adversarial, even confrontational, rather than collaborative partnering. Also, HR seems to monopolize linkages with unions and individuals, while line management seems to focus only on production, sales, and supply chain, and generally ignore building strong relations with the human capital. 

I have worked for 12 years in San Miguel Corp., a highly-unionized conglomerate with no less than 30 unions, excluding those in Magnolia, La Tondeña, B-Meg, Monterey, and Coca-Cola. I have also worked as VP for both legal and HR and corporate services for Pepsi Cola for five years, dealing with no less than ten unions nationwide. Also, I have worked as an HR manager in Petron (then called Petrophil) and PNOC and its many affiliates in oil, energy, and transport including PNOC Marine Corp. and PNOC Shipping and Transport. In all my past experiences, I have gained enough wisdom to say that too many mistakes in people’s leadership and HR management are still being rampantly committed today. 

 Today, I am helping a number of clients in surfing over the waves of change in a VUCAFIDS world; Volatile, Unpredictable, Complex, Ambiguous, Fast, Intense, Digital, and Sneaky. My clients are rectifying a lot of errors in leading people and managing business organizations. 

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Kiro Espinosa

Kiro Espinosa

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