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A matter of principle

I said, “ I feel very strongly about this issue.” My manager said ,” Is it a resigning matter?” My bluff called I had to admit it was not. So what is these days?
According to recent HRD articles young people (generation Z ) are far more concerned about business ethics and corporate social responsibility than previous generations. It informs their recruitment and retention decisions. It makes an employer more attractive or less attractive.
When I was younger there were a lot of issues I felt strongly about. I was particularly concerned that senior management should adhere to and up hold the values of my profession which were also the values that the organisation claimed to believe in. As a social worker my professional values included promoting choice, respect, dignity and independence in the way we provided support and help to those in need of it. These values included a strong commitment to equality. At the time most senior managers had started their career as social workers so everyone was singing from the same song sheet. Only they weren’t.
Changes were increasingly not about improving services or increasing support but about efficiency, cost cutting and even rationing. I and others became cynical about senior management but it didn’t occur to us that resigning was the answer nor was moving as senior managers were the same everywhere.
I was part of the senior management team of a large Housing Association (HA) that intended to transfer some residential/nurseling care homes to another provider as going businesses complete with residents and staff. The aim was to achieve a smooth transfer and avoid any industrial action. This was made easier by the fact that neither the HA or the organisation wishing to acquire the homes recognised Trade Unions.
As a senior manager I gave out the organisations reassuring message at a range of staff meetings that there would be no compulsory redundancies and pay plus terms and conditions of employment would remain the same on transfer. What I only learnt later was that this only applied for the first 12 months. I felt uncomfortable working for an organisation that refused to recognise Trade Unions and I felt used.
I told my manager how strongly I felt about this issue. My manager said ,” Is it a resigning matter?” My bluff called I had to admit it was not.

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