Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why Can't Wells Fargo Management Hear?

A handful of Wells Fargo employees reported unethical sales behavior to the company's ethics hotline and Human Resources.  One spoke out in 2011 and another in 2013.  Shortly after sharing their concerns each was fired.  CNN reported:

One former Wells Fargo human resources official even said the bank had a method in place to retaliate against tipsters. He said that Wells Fargo would find ways to fire employees "in retaliation for shining light" on sales issues. It could be as simple as monitoring the employee to find a fault, like showing up a few minutes late on several occasions.
This story is evidence of the shift from human resources to human abuse in most companies.  Executives like to say human resources has become more strategic.  HR no longer is the balance between worker and management.  It directly serves and implements executive wishes, i.e. it maximizes CEO pay.

Wells Fargo's management practices relied on incentives, bribing people to do a good job, and hard targets, where employees were punished for not meeting arbitrary numbers set by management.

Executives created a giant Skinner box where humans were treated like rats.  However, rats don't e-mail the company President, send messages to HR or call the Ethics Line.  Ethical people did.

Executives couldn't hear because that would force them to examine the horrific, dehumanizing system they created to personally enrich themselves.  They couldn't see because their eyes were trained on the layers of executive incentive pay they would receive if the company met or beat its goals.

Image obsessed leaders don't want to hear bad news and view employees raising issues as troublemakers.  Troublemakers need to go and a loud chorus of "La, la, la" must be sung until they are escorted from the premises.  

Wells Fargo is like thousands of other companies where core management underpinnings are greed and vanity. Congressional theater has elected officials acting like they understand, while they work to spread the very same toxicity to your doctor's office.

Rats.  Doctors used to study them.  Now they are one in Medicare's eyes.

Update 11-25-16:  It remains to be seen how doctors, nurses and healthcare folk will lie, cheat or steal to garner the Medicare pellet or avoid a stinging shock.  Like Wells Fargo I expect we'll find out in a few years.

Update 12-10-16:  Wells Fargo partner Prudential suffers from the same inability to hear and address fraud caused by distorting pay for performance.  It's easier to shoot the messengers.