My friend sent me the poster below. I thought it was funny, but then started to think there are companies out there that operate like this. I can't tell you how many management debrief sessions I have been in where the senior leader makes a joke about firing all the unhappy employees. Everyone gives a nervous laugh and we move on.
Unfortunately, organizations operate this way. I remember a project I worked on a couple of years ago. The company hired us to conduct an employee survey because they knew they had a major morale problem. Part of that problem arose because the last time they conducted an employee survey, the employees completed the survey, placed it in a sealed envelope, and turned it in to a central drop box. Then the President's admin took all of the employee questionnaires, opened them in plain sight of everyone, read through the each, and handed the President certain surveys. The company clearly operated like the poster below.
Far too often employees feel the employee loyalty survey is designed to be a witch hunt and are afraid to answer questions or provide demographic information. This is unfortunate for two reasons. First, organizations can't solve problems if they don't know about them. Without getting accurate information from the survey, the organization can't take specific actions to improve employee engagement. Second, it speaks to a lack of trust between the employer and employee.
This lack of trust is common but no less unfortunate. Organizations need to work to remove the "us versus them" mentality but a "we are in this together" mentality. I think this takes a bit of a leap of faith for most employees but it also comes from strong leaders who can foster this type of environment. They can foster this type of environment be being open and honest, walking the talk, and putting aside their personal agendas and egos (see my blog on leadership based on a talk from Tony Dungy for more examples on how to be a good leader).
As an FYI, these posters came from www.despair.com. If you are bored, check this site out (on personal time of course), there is some pretty funny stuff there.