Let the Devil Wear Black - Memoirs of an analyst

James F. Linden - Writer ...
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A company’s most important employees...

Chapter 22

A good company should value all of its employees although I must admit that when the real–life ‘Harry’ told me that the last time he ever worked as an employee was when he found out that employees were on the liabilities rather than the assets side of the balance sheet, I could only agree with his sentiment.

Limiting this to employees whose activities stay within the law, apart from the value of the consistent, reliable work that most employees put in, there are two other groups that are important for the long–term well–being of the company:

  • employees who make a lot of money for company; and,
  • employees who lose a lot of the company’s money.

Employees that make a lot of money are usually sales people who manage to clinch large orders which — it is important to remember — are then fulfilled by the employees that are consistent and reliable.

Then, there are the employees who are capable of losing the company money.

Normally, employees are bound by disciplinary proceedings which can be used to keep people in line — stopping them from doing anything that the company doesn’t approve of or that might lose it money. Once a company realises that any of these are stepping out of line, they can make suggestions to them or retrain them so that their behaviour is modified in a positive manner.

However, there is an inexorably increasing group of people who have been hired by the company, who, like every other employee, has had the opportunity to acquire knowledge about the workings of the company quite legitimately.

This group, however, is not under control of the internal disciplinary procedures or indeed, any controlling process that other employees might be legitimately influenced by. As such they are at liberty to do anything that they like — still within the law — and that includes important things such as informing the relevant authorities of anything that the company would otherwise be able to conceal — destroying the company in part or wholesale if required and as capriciously as they like.

They are not under any sort of legal control and armed with information that can destroy a company they have an importance in the long term that by far outstrips any sales deal.

In short...

A company’s most important employees are those who don’t work for it any more.

With it were copies of evidence supplied by their own solicitors...

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