Short term financial goals

I work in a company that could be categorised as an industrial giant, think Ingersoll Rand or the Motorola type. The company’s culture has changed alot since the financial crisis, which could have laid the company to ruins.

Before the crisis the company was lead by the founder’s son, it was a comfortable workplace, and in many cases too comfortable.

In the crisis a new CEO took over and changed direction. The actions taken, to secure the company’s future, where for most part necessary very understandable and efficient.

In the later years I have seen an ever increasing focus on the bottom line, reaching the growth targets while also keeping high Ebit margins. This has led me to wonder where this is heading, there might be a risk of putting short time financial goals ahead of long term customer satisfaction, and employee loyalty. Like in some of the listed companies where shareholder value often is of first, second and third priority.

Two years ago there was an incident where I saw people being laid off, and many thought that it was done to cut on fixed expenses just to be able to get higher Ebit Margin. At the time I thought this was the right decision because the market had stagnated, and this is just how you run a efficient company. Now I am not so sure anymore, the company’s survival was not at all at stake.

Has anyone seen the same trends in the big international companies?

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