A news article caught my attention today about the potential of industrial action by the employees of a company who handles gate operations. The strike would potentially affect thousands of people passing through that airport causing delays, cancellations and even missed holidays and trips. We’re not talking cargo here, immaterial things like pet supplies or car parts, but carrying paying passengers for the airlines. From one side, I can understand employees wanting to fight for what they believe is fair pay, but on the other hand, why should third parties be caught in the cross-fire?
In my opinion employees have the choice where they want to work, the salaries they’re employed at are the fruit of negotiation and free choice, so why should a union use innocent bystanders as hostages in their negotiations? I’s a cowardly tactic and I hope it bears little fruit.
An interesting post on TechCrunch caught my eye this morning which talks about a new website that just went live called GlassDoor. It allows employees to post anonymous salary information and reviews about working for their employers and collates them by company and position. The main aim is let people share their feedback, compare their market worth and get an insider’s view of a company where may intend to move to.
There’s already some interesting debate about the company, but I think it’s a great way for people driving an organisation to keep an eye on morale, get feedback from employees and discover potential issues before they escalate to a bigger problem. Soliciting feedback from employees is healthy, but people tend to be guarded when talking to their line managers, especially as this is the proverbial “hand that feeds them”, and sometime reluctant to discuss issues that they consider trivial. But trivial issues fester and gather momentum and it’s better for the overall health of the company to uncover them and deal with them straight away.
Intestingly, Glassdoor works on a “give-to-get” model where anyone can get free access to the information on the site as long as they contribute their profile. The site is planning to fund itself by targeting adverts at job seekers, premium services, and selling aggregated compensation data to any interested third parties. One challenge they are going to have is ensuring their reviews are real, but they claim to have a mechanism to deal with this already in place to maintain the quality of the posts. The founders of the company has a pretty impressive pedigree and I wish them the best of luck. It’s a good idea companies and employees alike can benefit from this disclosure of information.