The leaks from TBI Jakarta continue to be almost unbelievably negative. The school closures, staff layoffs and pay cuts have taken their toll on morale. Even people who used to be tight-lipped and careful are now heard complaining openly about how badly managed and unjust TBI is.
Indonesia is a hierarchical society. People are often reluctant to openly criticize those in positions of authority. After all, the country has draconian libel and defamation laws and people who are too free in their criticism of people in power will often be threatened, intimidated or even sued. That makes it all the more remarkable that people now often contact us and tell us that the morale in TBI is now terrible. Furthermore, they tell us that finances are so bad that they wouldn’t be surprised if the whole company collapses in Jakarta.
Let’s look at some specifics. TBI closed its Head Office at TBI Sudirman at the end of 2016. That was a huge blow, as they used to be proud of their prestigious main office in the financial district. It was a sign that they had huge cash-flow problems and could no longer afford the rent. However, their problems didn’t end with the closure of that ailing and unpopular branch. Once TBI Sudirman was closed, TBI had an over-staffing problem.
They now had more people working for them than they needed. That meant less money for Windy and Ning to pocket. They used to have 3 branches in Jakarta and now there were 2 (Kuningan and Fatmawati.) This meant there were an excess of office assistants, student assistants, finance officers and so on. According to our sources, they started becoming a worse and worse employer, demanding that office boys and finance officers serve as salespeople whenever they said so. These people generally had no sales experience. How good was their customer service going to be? How could someone who spoke little English feel comfortable selling English courses?
According to rumours, the real reason for the new demands from management is to try and make staff so unhappy they will quit. This will mean that TBI doesn’t have to pay severance pay. They are trying, in their miserable greed and cheapness, to try and get out of their legal obligations to these unwanted employees. That this theory is now openly discussed by TBI staff shows how black their name now is with the people who work for them.
TBI Sudirman’s closure has caused an overstaffing problem which they are now trying to solve by making ridiculous and inappropriate demands of staff, hoping to drive them out. They have learned nothing from their past mistakes. TBI still thinks that abusing and mistreating people is the path to business success.