At business meetings and private functions it is often mentioneded by hard-working executives and Managing Directors that it is almost impossible to find employees who are willing to work hard and stay with the company for a long time instead of leaving their employment within two years and moving on.
They lament the fact that young executives, the ones they would like to delegate tasks to, are very difficult to find, despite advertisements and the use of specialised employment agencies, so-called head hunters. They decry the fact that, in their opinion, there is invariably a preponderance of applicants expecting high salary, lots of promotion, least responsibilities, in what they call ‘a career’. Such are their very common, sarcastic remarks divulged in camaraderie with their equals.
However, they would add, somebody has to do the regular work to keep the organisation functioning properly. Without loyal rank-and-file staff, an organisation’s progress is hampered, they state.
With new workplace reforms that have been put in force by the authorities, there is a prevalent lack of loyalty towards an employer as people are changing their jobs at the first opportunity, looking for better employment elsewhere.
Recently, a well-known world-wide personnel agency has published a study on this trend and suggested that employer organisations ‘deal with this trend’.
Also a newspaper recently published a lengthy article on the very same subject indicating that this situation is both widespread and affecting the industry, somehow finding accusing sentiments for the newly recruited junior executives and what their seemingly unrealistic expectations of their industry.
And yet, within all this debating, contemplation, analysing and categorising, nobody has really investigated the other side of this conflict and investigated what most concerned employees are really facing!.
Up to this point, the arguments have been very one-sided, that is from the management’s point of view, however, what every salesman knows, namely, that you cannot sell anything if you do not see the other person’s point of view, is being grossly neglected.
And for top executives who’s job it is to constantly contemplate their competitors’ next move, the government’s new policy, the situation among suppliers, and, of course, and their own benefits for staying in business this is a grave omission!
In their running of their respective businesses, decisions need to be made in a frame of robustness, individuals’ feelings are being overridden, as this writer has been able to observe many times. Only what is of advantage for their own organisation and, above all, for themselves, is considered ‘the right decision’. They are constantly making ‘executive decisions’, as they like to call it, nodding proudly to themselves.
And yet, the facts for young people leaving an employment so soon is clearly before them, they cannot be denied. If this were only investigated then the truth for companies’ high personnel turnover will be easily come to light. By looking deeper into the situation of a hard-working and successful employee and the psychological situation he finds himself in.
These restive junior executives are indeed backbone of the company, they are the ones who effect sales or profit for the company. And are usually the persons given more and more tasks because ‘they are good at it’. Or, ‘do it so well’, as their judgement goes.
Such a hard-working and very successful person is rarely being promoted because, contrary to what we tend to believe, ‘if you work hard you get ahead’ is seldom true!
The reality is that, because they are so good, they never get promoted as the organisation would have to find somebody to replace him or her with a successor equally as good. And genuine doppelgaengers are rare and management’s logic is: ‘why go through the troubles of making changes in an organisation when everything runs so smoothly!’ This is, of course, a mild observation and most statements are of a nastier nature.
When dealing with such a hard-working person, Isn’t it better to use the old cliché ‘well done, keep up the good work’ or the opposite tactic, which is making that employee feel so inferior that he does not even dream of looking for another job. Plus, they tend to give that young executive more and more work to make this tactic work!
They know that most people, working with their nose to the grindstone, find it difficult to look for a better position elsewhere. Their confidence is low and they tend to stay employed longer in one position. And a nice profit is to be gained from their work!
Whilst such a worthwhile person is denied any promotion, they notice a constant jostling within the organisation by higher-ranking executives to be their supervisor.
It is a great ego-trip for such a supervisor to remark to fellow executives:’ he / she works under my command!’ Which is like saying: ‘that person is so good because of my leadership!’ Especially, when this is being commented on to higher ranking executives. There is a common remark, often made with a forced sigh to indicate concern:’ You cannot get good staff these days, nobody wants to work any more…It seems to be a common statement uttered by one executive to another, it is accepted as ‘executive-talk’.
And when supervisors find that an employee is studying outside working hours in an attempt to improve himself, then a fear or losing that employee creeps in and a new technique is applied in this case. They keep telling that ambitious person in a very suggestive way: ‘You are wasting your time!’ in the hope of discouraging that employee.
Asking for company sponsorship or part payment of the costs is, more often than not, refused. ‘This is for your own benefit!’ is then heard, betraying their awareness that this employee will not stay with them for long.
The modern principle of collective decision making has become popular. This creates the appearance of ‘democratisizing’ the workplace and giving downtrodden people a say. But, of course, whilst attending meetings, the employee in question, with many other fellow workers and superiors, realise that nothing will change and whilst being present at such meetings, work is waiting and piling up, waiting to be done. Therefore, the feeling of such a person is one of merely delaying the inevitable.
It is common at such meetings that these good employees are being asked to forward useable suggestions, and they may be numerous from such a person, due to an in-depth knowledge of his or her workplace environment. However, all their good suggestion they have to implement themselves, in
addition to their regular workload, of course!
After a few of such meetings and, depending on the amount of optimism or goodwill, such a person becomes aware of being manipulated and stops giving forth good ideas at such meetings.
One counter measure is to stare right back at the boss who’d just bleated out ‘what a great idea! That’s just what is needed’ and keep staring into his eyes. After a few seconds the boss invariably will then lower his gaze and when looking up again, speak about something entirely different. Such is the boss’ fear of work!.
Other, additional activities , like, writing articles for publications, designing something for the company, etc. is angrily snatched from this keen worker and passed-on to other executives as the superior’s own output.
How do companies always mange to find such hard-working and productive people? By offering an impressive job title that misleads the applicant into thinking a real executive position is being offered, with subsequent career possibilities, responsibilities and perks.
An often-used company-ploy is the applied ‘Principle of Vagueness and Specificity’. The employee is being informed of his duties in amazing detail whereas the company’s part is explained somewhat as ‘looking after that person.’
Only the responsibilities are a reality!. Once a person is in employ, he often finds that here are no powers to delegate anything further and the actual work has to be implemented by the person himself.
And once the person’s ambitions become obvious to superiors it is important for the company to frustrate him. And keep frustrating him.
Everybody then speaks down to him, a normal business conversation is made impossible from then on. This is done by talking ‘executive spin’, with lots of words like: ‘If you only knew what we know…..’ Mixed with plenty of wonderful sounding: ’however’ and ‘furthermore’.
And the talks are being kept one-sided by going on and on without respite. The poor underling, who has a lot of work waiting for him, has to listen to all this politely as such is the pecking order…
Especially painful is having to listen to a superior’s:’ What I said was…’ for what comes now is the biggest nonsense, the biggest lie one has ever heard. And nothing can be done about it but to listen politely whilst subduing an inner voice that wants to scream with rage.
The methods of frustrating hard-working employees increases constantly because they are so productive. They are needed where they are as nobody else would want their work.
And additional work is heaped onto this high achieving member of the team. Sometimes, a boss apologises by saying things like:’ When I give a task to somebody else, I must be happy if they do 60% of what I ask for – with you, I always get 120%.Therefore I just have to delegate this task to you! You understand, don’t you?’
Some superiors, knowing that they could not do the job themselves, since that would show their inadequacy or would involve, God forbid, perspiration, try to destabilise the good worker by insisting on changes to the working routine.
Sometimes, such an achiever explains: ’I know what works best, but I shall do what you order if you take responsibility for the result!’ This, invariably makes a superior shudder and retreat.
And the carrot keeps being dangled: ’You are doing a good job! Keep up the good work!’ Or the opposite:’ Your are not doing enough!’ whichever tactic is applied.
It rarely happens that such a downtrodden employee confronts his boss and attempts to explain that, for a harmonious working relationship, both parties need to be happy. When it does, the boss’ glassy eyes invariable snap wide open, their eyebrows shoot up, their acted or natural surprise showing strongly in their face.
Having the company’s shortcomings explained, they say nothing, however, a kind of poker face settles on his visage and he walks away, exercising rudeness.
But when put too much under pressure, his face will split into a desperate cry: ’ Why don’t you just keep doing what you are doing! You doing it so well!’
When you hear this, the truth dawns on you that you have wasted your time and taken great risks, as a company sees only a company’s point of view!
And detailed professional conversations are being avoided as superiors hide their lack of knowledge or the marketing skill to do so. Many do not even know what certain professional words mean, leaving the willing worker somewhat isolated in his attempt to communicate.
But shouldn’t a Superior be ‘superior’, in product knowledge and skill, otherwise why should he have the right to be in charge of skilled people and judge their work?
The rule here seems to prevail: ‘When you have somebody working for you, work him very hard! Do not worry about what he thinks, just get the most out of him. As long as he or she gives, you take! You do not worry about working conditions and his career opportunities!’
Only when a resignation is handed in and the disenchanted worker really means it, a slight panic shows on a superior’s face. ‘Who is going to do all that work? ‘Will I find somebody who is just as exploitable, er.. I mean hard working? Or will I get lumbered with a mess and be expected to the work myself?’
Off to a pub or club and talking this over with fellow executives! Let’s commiserate the prevailing employment situation over something stronger than mineral water. Naturally, every Friday, these expenses are being claimed as legitimate business expenses and promptly reimbursed.
All this, whilst the disgruntled employee ponders his future somewhere else, where the cycle of disenchantment may start all over again.
But the reality is that such a person has only one option: To bide his time, follow the rules and learn as much as possible. Achieve additional qualifications and establish a good reputation in his particular field of business!
And keep observing the employment situation as there is for sure a company ‘out there’ that not only takes but also gives in return: Recognition for your good work, a just reward, and a career. In other words, a company worth working for!
To return to the original clamouring of the business world, that too many employees are leaving within two years and that employees expect a career, advancement and reward for their achievements, one can only suggest that these effected companies thoroughly investigate their own system.
Where employees are leaving within a short period it is important to listen to them and try to obtain the real reason for this phenomenon. And then take action: A management consultancy firm needs to be brought in and all executives, superiors and chief administrators need to re-apply for their own position. And undergo an encompassing test with an industrial psychologist.
This will unmask phoney management and superiors and give a true picture of a company’s upper echelon! Superiors, bosses up to the C.E.O will have their own competency assessed for their contributions to their organisation’s success.
And it will then become clear why young employees have been leaving their employment in unacceptable numbers.
May I invite you to leave a comment?