Is the recent drama with Conan O’Brien over at NBC hitting a little too close to home? Perhaps you’ve seen this sort of thing before? Like, maybe…at your own office?
Today, NPR compared the recent high-profile contract disputes between the network and the soon-to-be-former “The Tonight Show” host to a “surprisingly familiar workplace mess,” where NBC’s efforts to get around the contract it made with Conan six years ago - and more or less force Conan out – are not unlike what you might see in today’s workforce when poor management mistakes are made.
Additionally, where NBC has succeeded in alienated Conan fans (a.k.a. Team Conan) with its behavior, employers too risk alienating the entire staff when they do something that is seen as unfair (even if they insist on attributing it to “cost-cutting” measures).
Of course, NBC being the powerhouse it is, the risk of the company losing overall viewership over Conan backlash is probably slim to none. Any other employer, however, might not recover so easily – and risk losing the trust of the rest of the staff, consequently doing serious damage to both morale and its employment brand. After all, employees reason, if management is willing to treat one employee this way, who’s to say it won’t do the same to anyone else?
Additionally, NPR argues that Leno represents the loyal, high-performing worker who was hastily “pushed out for a new guy on the theory that he was too old,” and, now back, comes off looking to his staff like the guy who bullied the other guy out of his position – as a result of management’s mistakes, no less. That doesn’t bode well for morale, either.
What do you think? Does the NBC-Leno-Conan mess seem all too familiar to you? How would you have handled the situation?Related
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