In an exploration of the question, “How do you treat employees during a merger with offshore partners?”, we discovered the chapter excerpt of a book by Tandy Gold called Key Lessons Learned in Offshore Outsourcing: Towards an Offshore Maturity Model, published by the IEEE Computer Society Press. The title of the excerpt was “Chapter 2: The Elephant in the Middle of the Room: The Ethical Fork in the Road”
Tandy Gold opens with a personal anecdote of how she discovered an unethical partnership in her company, and she had to courageously confront the board of directors about it. Far from being fired as she expected, the board appreciated her moxie and some internal jobs were saved.
After sharing her story, she recommends the development of an overt framework of ethics for completing any merger or strategic outsourcing arrangement and frequent communication of this framework to all stakeholders.
She closes with four guidelines for ethically treating impacted employees during an offshore partnership:
1) Recognize this is an adjustment resulting from the global marketplace – in essence, no one individual or set of individuals is “to blame.”
2) Understand that the visibility and level of impact requires a new focus on both ethics and communication of that ethics as a set of decision-making guidelines for offshore policy.
3) Plan on not only defining, but sharing, purely economic set of guidelines.
4) Describe the vision of the “to be” state in critical areas – especially defining and communicating the new set of highly valued employee skills that will guide the careers of employees moving forward. Read More>>
In these tough economic times, when more and more American jobs are impacted by less expensive offshore work, following this ethical framework ensures fair treatment of all involved. Feel free to share your thoughts on how ethics can play a part in offshore partnerships on our blog.