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Home / Questions / PROBLEM-SOLVING APPLICATION CASE (PSAC) A Good Stock to Own, a Bad Place to Work? The Dish..

PROBLEM-SOLVING APPLICATION CASE (PSAC) A Good Stock to Own, a Bad Place to Work? The Dish..


A Good Stock to Own, a Bad Place to Work?

The Dish Network Corporation (DISH) started operations in March 1996. It was founded and run by Charles  stepped down in 2011 and the company named Joseph Clayton as president and chief executive officer. Today, Ergen remains chairman. As of March 2013, the company provided satellite TV to over 14 million subscribers. And the stock price continues to climb. But the path to this success has been rocky, and often at the price of job satisfaction.

Bad News in 2011 and 2012

DISH’s 2011 annual report revealed that the company “lost approximately 166,000 net subscribers” in 2011, compared “to a gain of approximately 33,000 net new subscribers during the same period in 2010.” A 2012 MSN Money survey of 1,500 randomly chosen people also was used to assess the customer service provided by 150 companies in 15 industries. Ratings were obtained on a scale ranging from excellent, good, and fair, to poor. MSN Money then selected the 10 companies with the greatest percentage of “poor” ratings and designated them to the Hall of Shame. DISH was on that list. The bad news did not stop here. In 2012 DISH was designated as the worst employer to work for by website 24/7 Wall St. People at 24/7 Wall St. tried to identify the worst place to work by reviewing comments posted at Glass door .com, an online service that allows employees to gossip about their employers and jobs. While not a scientific study, 24/7 Wall St. identified a sample of 202 companies that had a minimum of 300 reviews. DISH had 346 former or current employees post comments about the company, and many were quite negative. Complaints included long hours, limited paid holidays, and excessive mandatory overtime. One post stated, “You’re part of a poisonous environment . . . go find a job where you can use your talents for good rather than evil.” Other comments included, “You work all day all night. Your day starts from 6:45 am till 6 pm, or 10pm. You work every holiday that your day falls on.” Here is another comment from a former employee who worked at the company for over 10 years, mainly as a Field Service Manager. If you like being told “there’s the door” every time you disagree with or question a policy’s effectiveness or purpose and then offer viable solutions/ideas, then this is the job for you. If you want to be told to “just drink the  Aid” and “just get on board” no matter the cost, then this is the job for you. If you like to work 601 hours per week with no overtime pay (salaried employees), then this is the job for you. If you like to put your job first when your employer puts you last, then this is the job for you. If you like to be micromanaged and told that your own management style is wrong, then this is the job for you.

Chairman  Setting Tone

Michael , former president and CEO at DISH for eight months, commented that Charles Ergen made a lot of unilateral decisions. Neuman did not feel empowered.  also had a tendency to micromanage. For example,  was noted to have signed every check that left headquarters for many years. Today, he signs only checks that exceed $100,000. At the company headquarters, people are supposed to start working at 9 a.m., and the company had employees use their badges to scan in when they arrived for work.  was unhappy with this system because “some employees were taking advantage of the system by having others badge-in for them.” He installed fingerprint scanners to stop this from happening. E-mails were sent to human resources when someone arrived late. A message might also be sent to the employee’s boss and  himself. A few years ago Ergen became frustrated with employees who arrived late to work because of snow. He told employees at a quarterly meeting that they should stay at nearby hotels, at their expense, if the weather suggested a few inches of snow. Current and former employees describe the culture in terms of values representing “condescension and distrust.” DISH does not allow people to work from home, and employees do not get corporate credit cards. If you like flexibility at work, DISH is not the place for you. For many years, employees had to reimburse the company if they provided a tip greater than 15 percent for an expensed meal.  style also pertains to how he treats Wall Street analysts and large investors. For example, Chris Marangi, a portfolio manager for a firm that holds 4  million shares, says, “DISH goes out of its way to be uncooperative.” Despite visiting corporate headquarters many times, he has not met  or other DISH executives. “They’re probably the least transparent company of any I’ve ever dealt with,” said .

Corporate Culture Liz Ryan, founder of human workplace, wrote an article about the culture of DISH for Huffington Post. She commented on an interaction she had with a recruiter from DISH a few years ago while attending a networking event for human resource professionals. Liz approached the recruiter from DISH and asked, “Are you busy?” The recruiter said, “We’re swamped. We have so many openings, we’re going crazy.” Liz then inquired

about the types of employees DISH was looking to hire. The recruiter replied, “Hispanics.” She wanted to hire Hispanics because “they don’t complain about the pay.” When Liz told her that you can’t favor one ethnic or racial group more than another, the recruiter replied, “We’ll hire anyone who’s qualified, but we prefer to hire Hispanic people.” The company is also very litigious. The company has sued, or been sued by, so many companies that it has employed more than 100 law firms in 10 years. DISH once sued one of its own lawyers. The lawsuit resulted in a $40 million judgment against DISH. DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton responded to the label of DISH being the worst company to work for as “ridiculous.” What do you think? As noted earlier, the stock continues to climb and was up 30 percent just in 2012. The company has beaten earnings estimates five of the last eight quarters as of this writing.75

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