The Human Cost Associated With Our Electronic Gadgets
Suicide is one of the most tragic situations to occur in a company’s compound because it ruins its reputation. In order to avoid its occurrence, most organizations provide their employee’s with appropriate working conditions and adequate salaries. Despite the provision of these incentives, suicides have not been fully eliminated in most firms in China due to their unique structural settings. In China, some enterprises provide accommodation for their employees due to the unavailability of such services. Therefore, suicide occurrences in them are at times due to factors that stretch way beyond the employees working environment (Ivancevich, Konopaske, & Matteson, 2013). Foxconn is one such company that has been affected by the high suicide rates among worker.
My initial impression when I read the case The Human Cost Associated With Our Electronic Gadgets was that the high rates of suicide at Foxconn were because the company exploits its employees. However, once I read the about the causes of suicide and the firm’s working policies, I realized that these deaths are mainly caused by underlying family issues among new employees. Due to previous stereotyping, I thought that Foxconn underpays and overworks its employees. Further information about Foxconn enabled me to realize that its salaries and accommodation services are among the best in China. I have also found out that it does not overwork its employees.
In order for Foxconn to identify and help employees to constructively cope with the emotional burden of being away from their families and isolation, it should provide its new workers with mentors. Mentors will be able to guide their protégés in the first months of work with the company, which may make the latter’s new job less stressful (Baldwin, Bommer, & Rubin, 2012). In addition, they may become friends to the mentee and enable them to easily build a social network in the firm. Foxconn should also ensure that all its employees are regularly assessed by psychologists so that the suicidal ones are identified and taken through counseling. This proactive approach will make it to reduce the rates of suicide because suicidal workers will be identified before they even attempt to kill themselves.
Foxconn has engaged in impression management by providing their workers with competitive salaries and a safe working environment. Unfortunately, their efforts have not been successful. For example, although the company installed safety nets on most of its accommodation facilities in order to save suicidal individuals, these features have been used to its tarnish image (Ivancevich, Konopaske, & Matteson, 2013). In particular, some reporters say they are due to the high suicide rates in the firm, which is not true. In addition, although the its salaries are among the best in China, some analyst compare them with those of highly developed countries, which makes the organization appear as if it is under paying its workers. In practice, working in Foxconn is a coveted opportunity among most individuals in China.
To reduce the cases of suicide in its premises, Foxconn should improve the social and communal environment for its workers. Since the company provides a good working environment and competitive salaries for its employees, the main cause of suicides in its premises are underlying family issues among workers. The provision a conducive communal environment will enable its employees to make new friends and reduce family related stress. In addition, they will be easily integrated into the firm, which will make them not feel isolated.
Baldwin, T., Bommer, B., & Rubin, R. (2012). Managing organizational behavior: What great managers know and do (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Ivancevich, J., Konopaske, R., & Matteson, M. (2013). Organizational behavior and management (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.