BBC News reports that according to a recent survey almost a half of UK senior bosses would like to sack 5% of their employees to improve competitiveness and efficiency. The report makes this sound like the old Roman Legion's trick of decimation: eliminate one in ten to encourage the others. However 75% of bosses said they wouldn't bring in such a policy because they are afraid of creating a "climate of fear".
Well I hate to tell them something ... there already is a climate of fear, because this is exactly what many employees think their employers do actually do.
Indeed I have heard HR people openly and seriously saying that they give managers an annual target of having 5-10% of employees in the lowest "unsatisfactory" level of annual appraisal. Such a rating leads to a programme of "corrective action" which if performance doesn't improve results in dismissal. If these people are not replaced (which generally they aren't: "they weren't doing anything useful so we can live without them") then this automatically raises the performance bar for everyone next year when the manager has to find another 5-10% of unsatisfactory employees.
Hands up all those who think their employer doesn't do this? ...
Yes, I thought so. Now, senior managers, why is morale amongst your staff so low?