How’d you like your coffee?

November 14, 2018 0 By Robert

At a large company I once worked for there was a person assigned with reducing costs. One day another “Announcement” email arrived in my inbox this time trumpeting that this person had saved the company £20,000 a year. A decision had been made to replace fresh milk for coffee, tea etc with powdered milk. This you might think was a coup unless you had to work there every day for 10 hours a day and you had a serious caffeine habit.

After the change happened I’m not sure what was worse, the coffee or the message I’d received that the company thought saving £40 a year on me (there were 500 staff affected) was more important than anything else. There had been no consultation beforehand so the company didn’t seem interested in what its staff thought. If I was working late at night, which was often, and I was deciding on whether to call it a day, if I thought about their “saving” it put me off making any extra effort. What also didn’t help was knowing how wealthy the company already was. It was a large multinational with 10,000 employees so saving £20,000 was paltry in the scheme of things.

It’s been over a decade since I left them but this example still rings true about the importance of thinking things through from different perspectives when making decisions, even if they seem to be small decisions.