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So you think your employees aren’t sabotaging you?

So you think your employees aren’t sabotaging you?

In your previous article, we talked about some of the consequences of running a “sweatshop”.  Well you haven’t heard anything yet…


It was in the fall when two consultants rolled up to an enormous plywood mill in Oregon.  As they exited the shiny new rental car, they approached the entrance of the mill and promptly walked into an ambulance that was parked out front.

“What’s with that?” one of the consultants asked.  It didn’t take them long to find out.  Minutes later, they met with the plant manager and asked him about the ambulance.  “It’s here to pick up an injured employee,” he explained.  “One of our front-line supervisors got into an argument with him and beat him up.”

How ironic that these consultants were at the mill to measure the effectiveness of an ongoing leadership training program.

Later that day while interviewing groups of hourly employees, they asked what had happened earlier.  “What happens when you don’t get along with your supervisor?”  In unison, they immediately blurted, “The hog!”

In the corner of the mill sat a shack where scraps were ground into sawdust by a monstrous machine. This was the hog.

You can imagine the shock to these poor consultants when employees mentioned the hog as their cure to poor supervision.  “We don’t throw the boss into the hog,” someone went onto explain.  “We throw good plywood into the hog.  That way, we kill his productivity numbers and get him in trouble.”

Revenge, sabotage, payback – that was the name of the game.  If a boss did something that employees didn’t like, they got even by “feeding the hog”.

Of course, not all employees are this direct in their revenge (thank goodness!).  In fact the most common form of “feeding the hog” is when employees react passively to bad treatment – they just don’t give their all.
So given these consequences, is it better to swing all the way to the other side of the spectrum – the trust side?

*The Law of the Hog as told by the owners of Vitalsmarts.