Does AT&T Inc. Culture Need Improvement?
AT&T is one of America's largest employers and the largest private-sector employer of full-time union labor. The company is the top U.S. provider of next-generation TV services, wireless, high speed Internet access, Wi-Fi, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T is also recognized as the leading worldwide provider of IP-based communication services to businesses. The company’s mission is to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and to do it better than anyone else. In March of 2008 AT&T was announced as America’s Most Admired Telecommunications Company. AT&T has topped the America’s Most Admired list for industry in 10 of the past 13 years. “..The best name in the business, once again, has the best reputation. The new AT&T is leading the way into a new era of integrated communications and entertainment services…” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc, during the conference call held in March of 2008. A month later, in April of 2008, AT&T has announced workforce reductions that were part of the next step in streamlining the operations. Approximately 1.5 percent of 310,000 employees were affected. In December of 2008 AT&T announced elimination of additional 12,000 management and non-management jobs across the company which counted for about 4 percent of the workforce. I work for AT&T as a Senior Financial Analyst in Mass Markets Operations Support department. For the past two years, I participated in the planning and execution of Management Sales Compensation and Union Sales Incentives initiatives. I joined AT&T in August of 2004. Before I joined the company, AT&T offered great benefits such as free health plans, 100 percent tuition reimbursement, very rich management bonuses and competitive performance incentives. Things have changed for bad right before I started working for the company. Currently, company offers tuition reimbursement up to the tax-deductible limit, management bonuses are below 100 percent and health plans are not free anymore. A lot of employees have lost interest in keeping their jobs due to the constant changes and uncertainty, therefore a lot of experienced managers and reps resigned and joined AT&T competitors such as Comcast, Verizon or Sprint. According to my OCI results AT&T’s primary style is Dependent with the greatest percent score of 97%. Dependent style belongs to Passive/Defensive styles. The result revels that company’s primary expectation is that the employees do only what they are told to do and they have to get the approval from their supervisors on any decisions they want to make. This kind of behavior is called micromanaging which is always counterproductive and de-motivating the employees. The secondary AT&T culture style with the subsequent OCI greatest percent score is Conventional with 95% score. Conventional style as well as Dependent belongs to Passive/Defensive styles. Organization with this type of culture has clear performance expectations for meeting the requirements by setting up the individual goals. Employees have to adhere to the rules set by the company. Members of organizations with Dependent type of culture are required to accept goals without questioning them, do what is expected even when they know that it is wrong, get higher management approval before acting and please those in positions of authority. Members of organizations with Conventional culture follow the rules, policies and practices, tell people different things to avoid conflict, make a good impression, cast aside solutions that seem risky. Conventional norms are similar to Dependent, because they both encourage employees to follow rather than lead. “…No one wants a manager, but everyone wants a leader. If you think about it, there are...
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