Magazine article Workforce

To Tell the Truth (Second Draft)

Magazine article Workforce

To Tell the Truth (Second Draft)

Article excerpt

On The Contrary

As a journalist, I never (occasionally) let my personal feelings about business executives (idiots) influence my coverage of events. Take the challenges (fiasco) at United Airlines, for example. The difficulties (stupidities) that caused the airline to file for bankruptcy earlier this year were unfortunate (predictable). When you've got strong (insatiable) labor unions, demanding (cry baby) employees and ambitious (unrealistic) profit goals, combined with a travel market that suffered a serious setback (got its ass kicked) because of 9-11, what alternatives did United's executives have?

You see, fairness and objectivity are necessary for journalists to do their jobs (keep their jobs). There's a time and place for opinion, and good writers (who've been fired before) know the difference.

The same is true for human resource executives, who are charged with the awesome (impossible) responsibility of motivating (babysitting) today's employees. Instead of freely speaking their minds, these top executives are often forced by their innate professionalism (the axis of evil) to toe the company line. And that's okay There are times in life when it's important to speak one's mind and times when it's vital to squelch one's fervent opinions (although I can't think of any examples right now).

But one has to wonder. What might happen if more people in the workplace were willing to speak their minds more often? What might happen, say, if accounting irregularities (atrocities) were brought to light sooner by courageous employees? If more people were willing to question large (obscene, immoral, offensive) executive salaries? If more human resources people admitted they didn't have all the answers all the time?

This is my (hugely egotistical and opinionated) belief if employees were allowed to engage in honest dialogue without fear of retribution (lynching), then many of the problems faced by companies today would not exist. Sound simplistic? Maybe so.

But look at some of the organizational failures making news: (greedy) inflated revenues at AOL, (greedy) price-fixing at Christie's auction house, (greedy) insider trading at ImClone. All these crimes might have been prevented, or the damage minimized, if in-the-know employees were allowed to speak their minds, and-here's the important part-be heard by management. …

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