Cable Technology Feature Article
Dish Network Regarded as Worst Place to Have a Job in America
By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer
While the employment picture these days isn't exactly rosy, there are exceptions in both directions. Some people absolutely love their jobs, while others can barely drag themselves into the office. But according to 24/7 Wall St., for those who have jobs, chances are they're happier than Dish Network employees.
24/7 Wall St.'s methodology wasn't exactly the most precise: essentially, they just went to another site, Glassdoor.com, a place devoted to people talking about their jobs. They discovered that fully 346 former—or current—employees managed to crop up on glassdoor.com with a series of horror stories about the firm. Worse, Glassdoor.com aggregates ratings from the employees about the overall working conditions at a firm, and Dish Network managed to garner an average score of 2.2 on a scale of one to five, beating both Dillard's and RadioShack for the bottom spot.
Out of 617 ratings on glassdoor.com, fully 246 called themselves “very dissatisfied.” The number of employees considering themselves “very satisfied” was just 48. Some comments even suggest that executive meddling may be involved in the “very satisfied” scores, with one commenter saying “Joe Clayton (CEO) put us up to upgrading our score.” Another commenter called their time with Dish “...like a prison sentence.”
Employee complaints basically focused on spending way too much time on the job: long hours, mandatory overtime to what they found were excessive levels, a lack of paid holidays. The sheer intrusiveness of life at Dish was also cited as a problem, with thumbprint scanners required to punch in, and both local bosses and human resources notified of even slight lateness by the system. Employees that expensed a meal on Dish's tab were actually docked pay should they tip more than 15 percent, and tales of CEO Charles Ergen publicly berating executives over tardiness, even if they'd spent most of the night working from home, abound.
Yet not going lost on the employees was that, while they were spending large portions of their waking lives in Dish Network's custody, Dish's stock price had gone up fully 30 percent on the year. A third quarter loss for Dish Network had only limited impact, with plans to hire for the rest of the year emerging (though given these numbers one could start wondering about turnover issues) and subscriber numbers seeming to level off.
Though reports of the company easing up a bit since Ergen's departure are coming available, it's clear that the picture still isn't rosy at Dish by any stretch. At least, not rosy for the employees. For stockholders, the picture is pretty bright indeed. It's a dangerous path Dish Network is treading; philosophers as far back as Machiavelli have talked about the dangers of ruling by fear, and the employees certainly have a lot of power for harm should they be pushed far enough to exercise it. Granted, a bad economy is certainly keeping some from doing so, as well as personal ethics and morals, but negative motivation is still motivation, and motivation in a direction Dish Network may not like.
Only time will tell if Dish's authoritarian style will ultimately pay off, though in the short term it surely seems to have done just that. The long term is often different, however, and Dish may find itself needing to change to keep up.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey