Scrooge has no place in the modern working world

5 December 2012
Advent calendars are being opened and snow is on the ground in parts of the UK, so it’s time for a bit of musing about A Christmas Carol. Specifically, Ebenezer Scrooge and his place in the modern world. I’d like to think that he doesn’t have one, but sadly that just isn’t the case. This has come to my mind as a result of two conversations with friends. Both of them work at companies with very well-known and wealthy owners, although the way they are each viewed by their staff couldn’t be more different. One (we’ll call him the pre-visit Scrooge) apparently rules his office like he’s presiding over a dictatorship. CCTV cameras around workstations enable this individual to keep track of whatever the workers are doing, and having your coat on the back of your chair is a punishable offence. I also understand that an email to staff was recently sent out to inform them Christmas was cancelled (or at least time off is) – more Scrooge-like you could not get. All in all, it doesn’t do wonders to ingratiate him to his staff. The second, on the other hand, manages to maintain his place at the top of his company, both in terms of status and salary, while also inspiring his staff to work for him. This man is referred to by staff by his first name, moves freely around the office and even pops on to cover reception when the moment takes him. While his bank balance will be many times larger than almost everyone who works for him, he has managed to do away with the vast majority of negative views that staff typically hold of ‘the boss’. I doubt that three ghosts will visit the first individual and show him the error of his ways, but I would like to think, that as he has been smart enough to amass a fortune, he will soon realise a very simple truth: People do more for people who treat them well.
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