When Employers Aren't Our Biggest Fan: #TChat Recap

If you’re supposed to be my number 1 fan, then why do you treat me like a dirty bird?

Sometimes being on the job is just plain “Misery”. Maybe you’ve read the Stephen King novel or watched the movie starring Kathy Bates and James Caan, but if not the story is about a fan (fanatic) who holds captive the object of her obsession, the writer who keeps her entertained with his romantic novels — until he no longer does.

Back to being on the miserable job. Back in the mid 1990’s I worked at a university and had a boss who had a boss who made us both miserable. That combined with limited resources to do our jobs, and the fact that I managed a group of 50+ student employees in a condemned building on campus, and the fact that one of my colleagues who worked in the same building invaded and poked holes in my personal space daily, became unbearable.

My boss and I told each other that when the work day ended and the crying began, then it was time to leave. (Which is a lot less painful than being hobbled.)

It was time to leave. For both of us. First me and then him within the year.

Fast forward to today, two downturns into the 21st century with misery everywhere. According to Matt Charney‘s @Monster_WORKS pre-TChat write up:

The upcoming seismic spike in employee turnover will look different than any we’ve seen in the past. A recent Monster.com survey showed that fully 82% of fully employed workers have updated their resumes in the past 6 months, and a whopping 96% of employees with tenures of over 5 years are openly exploring opportunities.

Now flip that on its head and read this from recent Accenture survey:

Only about two of five (43 percent) professionals are satisfied with their jobs; however, 70 percent plan to stay with their current employers, according toReinvent Opportunity: Looking Through a New Lens, a survey of 3,400 professionals in 29 countries by the New York-based global management consulting and technology services company.

And then there’s a recent study by Harris Interactive and Plateau Systems that finds:

…Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of workers would consider a new career opportunity if approached — but they aren’t actively looking for new jobs.

Both of these were from a recent HRE online article titled Staying Put that I recommend you read as well as Matt’s highlighted Monster Thinking reads.

But wait, does all this misery make for upwards of 90% of the current workforce passively active or actively passive?

Sure, I understand how fluid these numbers can be and of course what I’m feeling changes how the world appears. But employers obviously haven’t been making many of us feeling any better, although they’re not there to make us feel better. They’re there to make make stuff and sell stuff and hopefully keep their employees “engaged” as much as possible along the way so they stay to make stuff and sell stuff. Plus, engagement is just a buzzword for, “You like what you do? Let me make sure I take care of you for that.” Then there’s, “You don’t like what you do? Did I ever tell you I’m your number 1 fan?”

Employers should communicate with their employees much more regularly beyond the annual perform-dance review. They should talk to them about the business, where it’s at and where it’s going. Transparency and inclusivity lead to ownership, intrinsic rewards and a more productive and happy workday.

Unfortunately change is always painfully glacial for many of us. Even with exciting technological advances changing the landscape of how we work and how we manage the workforce — mobile, social, collaboration — we’re still way on the front end of mainstream with many of us kicking and screaming along the way doing way too much with way less support.

We don’t live in the 1950′s. The US isn’t the only superpower economy fueling booms (and busts) and creating fairly stable (yet volatile) middle class job markets. The fact that the contingent workforce does continue to increase in the wake of high unemployment and uncertain markets tells me that we’re never going back. The full-time job with benefits and a pension and a secure retirement has fast become a retro shadow.

This is the new age of individual as startup and business owner — our personal businesses. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter said it best last night: “We’re just looking for fair compensation, fair personal treatment and respect, and not getting sick to our stomachs every morning.”

Oh, and a little work we enjoy. Being happy never hurts.

Amen.  As I’m sure you’ve gathered, last night’s theme was “Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Workplace Culture Factors to Consider Before Leaving Your Job.” You can see our reach from last night here and the questions are here:

  • Q1: Almost 90% of workers report being “open” to looking for new jobs. Why is this number so high?
  • Q2: How can employers take advantage of these trends to recruit and hire top talent?
  • Q3: What factors should employees consider when looking for a new job opportunity?
  • Q4: What can business leaders do to improve retention  rates and morale among top talent?
  • Q5: What’s the difference between an active and a passive candidate, if any?  Does it matter?
  • Q6: What are the most significant factors employees look at when deciding to stay or leave?
  • Q7: What are some ways employers and companies can help turn the tide?  Or is it too late?

Thank you again for participating in #TChat. Next week’s topic will be: “Am I A Temp, A Consultant, An Entrepreneur or a Small Business?  The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce.” Yours truly will be moderating.

Until then, Happy Working from all of us here at TalentCulture.

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