HOW Management Matters

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Jane Brookes

Vulnerability - to exploit or not to exploit that is the question?

I pose this question after seeing the news report this week in The Guardian regarding DPD, the courier company and its treatment of staff.

First of all, lets consider the term Vulnerability. What does this mean to you? Who would you consider as vulnerable? The English Oxford Dictionary refers to Vulnerable as 'that may be hurt, wounded or injured, unprotected, exposed to danger, attack or criticism'.

Does this apply to you do you think or maybe members of staff that you manage? What can put you into a state of vulnerability?

Well, age can make you vulnerable by virture of being too young or too old. Gender, race, disability all can pose as a vulnerability factor. Ever walked into an unfamiliar place and been the only female, black person or person in a wheelchair? Remember the feelings this created all stemming from a sense of vulnerability?Of course, in this scenario once you had stayed a while and chatted to others you felt better and moved on from those not very nice feelings of exposure. But what about those situations that you cannot simply walk away from or that become more negative the longer you remain in that scenario?

And that is where the staff at DPD found themselves. With no protection as employees and incredibly vulnerable regardless of their circumstances or situation. Don Lane died having deliberately missed vital medical appointments for a kidney condition linked to his Diabetes. And why did he make that decision to risk his health and go to work? Because, if he didn't go to work he ran the risk of being fined £150.00 per day.

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