They have been doing the same ridiculous surveys for year and the results never change. Neither does the corporate response to the answers. Employees want to be better paid. It is no secret that the American worker's standard of living and income has continually lost ground over the past 30+ years. The workloads increases while the wealth has not trickled down and it is unlikely to do so as globalism continues to level the employment playing field. Only the very few types of skilled professionals will be sought after and well compensated.
On the other hand, the continuous request for flexibility has shown some improvement over the years as global, distributed teams have increased the necessity to work remotely and at staggered times across borders, as has the increased cost of energy. It seems that having employees work from home saves on energy costs at work.
People have wanted the same things since serfdom ended: to be recognized for work done not micromanaged for time put in, to be rewarded fairly, and to trusted and treated as thoughtful, contributing adults not mindless drones.
CareerBuilder Survey Reveals Most Wanted Office Perks and What Motivates Workers to Stay With Companies
CHICAGO, January 24, 2013 – .....A new CareerBuilder survey explores which job factors are most important to today’s workers. More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012.
Nearly one-third of employers (32 percent) reported that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39 percent are concerned that they’ll lose top talent in 2013. While most workers (66 percent) stated that they are generally satisfied with their jobs, one in four (25 percent) said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.
How important is title?
While upward mobility is a key factor in job satisfaction and employee retention, having a certain title isn’t important to more than half of workers (55 percent). The vast majority (88 percent) reported that salary matters more. Other factors that outrank job title in what is most important to workers are:
· Flexible schedule – 59 percent
· Being able to make a difference – 48 percent
· Challenging work – 35 percent
· Ability to work from home – 33 percent
· Academic reimbursement – 18 percent
· Having an office – 17 percent
· Company car – 14 percent
These trends may seem not new to many in the career coaching field or in Silicon Valley but this article does an excellent job of covering and updating the take on these dynamics in global work:
5 Trends Driving the Future of Work
by Chris Jablonski
Summary: From legions of independent consultants to cities dotted with coworking facilities, the future of work is virtual, online and global.
Trend 1: Independent consulting to see hockey-stick growth curve
Trend 2: Order books, movies and now … workers online
Trend 3: Coworking moves beyond early adopter stage
Trend 4: Adaptive lifelong learning the norm
Trend 5: Jobs of the future will either retrofit and blend existing jobs, or solve entirely new problems.
Read more at ZDnet.com,
Yes, we know that the jobs of the future will be different, even with the same title, from what they do now. Who would have thought that a car mechanic would need some computer skills to diagnose and repair the inner mechanics of an automobile 50 years ago? But they do now. Certainly, marketing exists more and more online than off.
Challenge: predict where your job/field/function is going and how going are going to mutate into those changes yourself. One solution includes applying #4 and being continuously learning new skills before you need them.
Coworking suits the Contract Nation USA just fine as more and more of the labor force is on a just-in-time basis. Banding together for company, economy of scale, and collaboration yet remaining independent entities is one very useful technique to survive working as Me Inc.
Challenge: finding the right co-habitation work space with people who create synergies of opportunities and networks with yours. This is more critical than finding your soul mate.
But the article does well in painting in tangible living color brushstrokes just how fast we are moving to that Me Inc. world with the visceral image of the hockey stick. Fan that I am, it also brings to mind the brutality of that game as an apt analogy to the sometimes cutthroat competition for projects and gigs.
Challenge: to differentiate yourself and keep from becoming a commodity price-driven member of a herd of contractors chasing business. This is another place where #4 learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge would help.
We know everything will be online as it seems like most of it is now. Of course recruiters live on Linkedin and deploy Google searches to find talent. Resumes are rapidly becoming obsolete in favor of more copious dossier on you in the interweb. Workers online using the various sites such as guru.com, elance, etc is now the norm.
Challenge: to by-pass the 3rd party brokers that add on 20-30% to your hourly rate and market yourself directly to potential employers making copious use of online branding and marketing. Using a website, blog, social profiles (lots of them), etc, build visibility to promote Me Inc.
Good trend spotting means good responses on all our parts. If we see it coming we can do something about it. Moreover, these trends are global. We compete, work with, network and collaborate across borders, timezones and countries. Opportunities can be anywhere and so can you.
Email me if you want to find out how I can help you be a guru consultant and look like a thought leader online. I have done it for others and can show you how too. firstname.lastname@example.org
FB move from Palo Alto to Menlo Park
Here is an excerpt from an article about Facebook moving to Menlo Park and the hardship to the city:
"On the other hand, Sun used to generate annual sales taxes of $431,000 to $827,000 for the city. That's because the state levies taxes on physical goods like computers that it doesn't levy on virtual services like online ad sales. Having more employees on the campus means the city is going to have to expand services to accommodate them, such as hiring more police officers or clerks. And while new high-income Facebook employees moving into the area might send property assessments soaring, Proposition 13 will limit the amount of additional property taxes."
Read Chris O'Brian's story in the San Jose Mercury News
You want Facebook to move to your city right?
Think of all the job creation and tax revenues! The City of Menlo Park has mixed emotions about Facebook bringing its entire workforce into one mega campus formerly occupied by Sun Microsystems. Yes, there will be some upfront fees and revenues collected with the move-in but the long term liability is increased demand on city services with little increase in ongoing sustainable tax revenues.
What is Menlo Park doing? Why asking Facebook for a handout to subsidize low-income housing in one of the most expensive cities in the Bay Area. Facebook is more than obliging. It is truly being a good citizen and why not? It certainly is getting off virtually scott-free compared to actually paying taxes.
The issue is one of unequal and unfair burdens of taxation on different types of industries and sectors in the California economy. This is an antiquated tax code that does not respond to the realities of a new economy and the Bay Area's economic base moving from computer and semi-conductor products to the Internet.
The State of California is fighting to get Amazon to charge sales tax to residents of the state. But compare that tax income, to the revenues that could be generated by the virtual services of local Internet companies.
Facebook is a $500,000,000 company (I put all the zeros in to make a visual point). Why are they, and Linkedin, Groupon, Yelp, Zynga, and others not paying tax on their virtual revenues as Sun did on their computers and Apple does now on its iPhone, iPad and iPod?
The law needs to change and now. How ridiculous that a city is reduced to begging for a handout from a company. Let Facebook hire its own fire department, police force, street maintenance workers.
The World Economic Forum ended on a dark worried note about the future of the worldwide workforce. The Davos gathering didn't doubt the numbers or projections. It is the means to the end that gave them consternation.
According to Vikram Pandit, CEO of the global bank, Citigroup Inc., "The world needs 400 million new jobs between now and the end of the decade, not counting the 200 million needed just to get back to full employment, so "that should be our number one priority".
It is not a simple scenario to just materialize 600 million jobs in 8 years. It is a real and dire problem with the nothing less than the world economy at stake. The financial leaders and heads of corporations spent time finger pointing across national boundaries, but they came away without a tangible solution how to grow worldwide GDP and therefore jobs.
That there is no concerted and coordinated global response to a looming work crisis may indicate a fundamental problem with how our worldwide economic system functions with implications that impact all class and economic levels.
We Aren't Entitled to Work?
Is there such a thing as a right to work in a free market, capitalistic, global economic system? Are we as a population in the USA entitled to earn a living if we are sound of mind, able bodied and skilled? It was easy to ignore this issue when unemployment numbers were composed of the poor, uneducated and unskilled. However since 1980, every recession has generated unemployment creep upwards from manufacturing, to white collar, to now the executive suite.
This has resulted in a substantial ongoing dislocation of the socioeconomic structure of the US population . Today the 12+ million "officially" out of work is about the size of Illinois and that fails to account for the underemployed and those not looking. At the same time, the employment agency, Manpower, reports that 75% of its revenues are now from outside the USA. In America, we know where the jobs have gone and continue to go-- elsewhere.
But that begs the question as there still won't be enough work to go around worldwide with an emerging, educated, skilled, global middle class. Are we entitled to earn a working living at the expense of another somewhere in the world? Doesn't everyone deserve the opportunity to make a contribution and be paid for doing it?
The essence of work is contribution. You do a day's labor and are paid a living wage. But what if there is not enough work to go around anymore? Does that mean that those that want to work and can't find it are facing life as an underclass of people who are going without the basic necessities of survival, and are deprived of being contributing members of society?
Will work, especially highly skilled, intellectual work, become an entitlement or privilege? Wherever you are in the world, you got your job because of a set of advantages. Call it luck, fate, geography, position, status, connections, or price-point. The others who missed out on the opportunity didn't quite have your unique set of advantages but they were just as smart, talented, hard-working, earnest and yet unemployed.
_An engineer from Slovakia has loyalty to the American company he works for in Australia because he is waiting for his Australian green card. This is the global twist on the job=citizenship situation that has run rampant in the USA for years with immigrant professionals. Now it seems with many professional seeking opportunities out of their home countries that this type of hostage employee is global.
The term wage slave has has taken on a new meaning with a scarcity of good employment opportunities in some countries while more plentiful in others, greater numbers of job seekers are being held for visa ransom by some company in Brazil, Singapore, Canada.
The worse offender used to be the USA but more professionals are seeking opportunities elsewhere now given the decline of the US economy. Interesting I met an Indian executive who wanted advice on a job search in India from the USA. He had spent the last 12 years in the US working for the top Fortune 500 companies. He was finally just getting his green card and decided to just leave it all behind and go home for better opportunities. He was fortunate as he loved the company he worked for.
The funny thing about employee loyalty is that it is engendered by either a scarcity of jobs or a devotion to the employer and the product. However, if a professional needs a company to employ and sponsor them to obtain a visa to stay in a country then enforced loyalty is tantamount to being held hostage to the job.
Most professionals I have met in this situation felt powerless to control their destiny but I have a few simple suggestions to at least mitigate the impact of visa situation on your employment.
Living Out Your Passion
Passion is a funny, quirky emotion that comes and goes. But sometimes, in love and life, when you do passion right it has staying power. Scott wanted more than anything to ski everyday all winter long. He left before the last crash burst to follow his passion. An banking executive by trade, he made the big jump to a large, high-profile Canadian ski resort as a financial consultant in order to satisfy his passion for the slopes. He reasoned that going to a dead-end, boring job that would earn a small living as a worthwhile trade-off for a great skiing opportunity.
He is now the IT manager, supervising 2 reports, and managing a whole system upgrade with new software installations to manage ski-lift ticketing and lift operations. It turned out to be the best of all worlds as he loves his job, and is well-paid and pursues his passion. Why is it that some people land a job within record time while others seem to linger in a search limbo, languishing without really looking?
Yes, there are obvious external factors that impact the length of an job search: age discrimination, requirements of an industry, heavily impacted functions and a few regions in deep recession. However, external factors do not account for everyone in search limbo.
Seems that your degree of passion and engagement helps to determine the ease and ability to be out there and involved in that business and to be known and connected. They are just driven to do it and will continue to turn over rocks, go down paths and do whatever it takes to be in the game no matter how rusty or inept at networking they are.
Passion can be the crucial ingredient to future success when one is in a transition phase between employment, consulting engagements or startup opportunities. Passion generates the motivation and drive to act and to do with the requisite intensity and persistence in the face of adversity, obstacles and daily doses of bad news reports.
Certainly money is a key motivator, but people leave substantial incomes every day because they were simply miserable going into work every day.
Organizations change over time, new management teams are formed that may not be compatible. Haven’t you seen people more consumed by their philanthropic work than their current position? That they pursue the former with more zeal than the latter can be a guidepost to other possible futures.
They frequently come to realize that it is possible to make the avocation into the main career passion. Certainly, it is often too easy to be discouraged and dissuaded from making that kind of transition because passions seem to present themselves as financial and career risks.
Sometimes it is not an obvious route to monetize a passion but we tend to foreclose options by pre-deciding against them. A woman had a passion for gourmet food, cooking, and great restaurants. Fortunately she lived in San Francisco so they all were in abundance. After years of working in public relations in consumer brands, she segued into the hospitality industry.
She started with small steps: writing articles, attending food events to network and doing some public relations pro bono work for a small ethnic restaurant in to promote their unique cuisine. She is now with an executive in a San Francisco public relations firm in their food vertical.
Yes, there are trade-offs to consider, priorities to rearrange and terms to come to but sorting out your values and options to put meaning, and passion back into their work lives will be worth the effort.
People as Cogs: perception drives performance
by Nilofer Merchant |
With peers in a few CEO roundtables, I've heard things like: "I plan on hiring 3 biz dev people to get $345K per headcount in revenues." After publishing a book about closing the execution gap by focusing on the "peopley" stuff, CEOs of major companies took me aside (in a friendly way) to suggest I had made a major faux pas, and would be seen as having gone "soft." In spite of a forest's worth of academic papers and rafts of best practices published by the likes of HBR on the importance of the "soft" stuff, most companies continue to treat people as inputs in a production line. I've had leaders ask me if this "people engagement thing" is something that can be added on, after the core business stuff is done, sort of like adding frosting to a cupcake.
For the rest of this article visit ( http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/06/people_are_not_cogs.html ) Harvard Business School Online
This interesting short article pointed out the obvious persistence by the use of terminology in many executive suites and board rooms. However, even more engaging were the associated comments to the article. I believe the use of Web 2.0 has been the addition of comments to every article or news story. Further, that these comments can in turn be commented on by other readers creates a "just-in-time" community around that topic that embellishes, expands and enlivens the original far beyond the intention of the author. One detraction was the author's penchant to slang as in "gotta" when responding to comments.
Two reader comments caught my attention. One placed the blame of the impersonal and objectifying language used such as "headcount" at the doorstep of business schools and their cirriculum. Given that most faculty had actual real world experience in the bowels of a company, I have to concur. One solution someone suggested was to put them on merit pay and remove tenure to see how quickly they start referring to themselves as "talent".
But the other comment really was interesting and I take issue with it:
I love the idea of the two camps being one - but the 'existence proof' you cite is, sadly, very flawed.
Google and Apple are successful because they sell Market Leading - nay - World Leading products. The fact that they have different people-engagement approaches is, sadly, coincidental.
By contrast, Henry Ford, also at a time when he was producing the World Leading Model T Ford, was treating his people like dogs.
There is an enormous difference in perceived value between assembly line workers of Henry Ford's day and today's information/knowledge worker. Factory workers were treated as interchangeable parts and perhaps rightly so but, of course that doesn't justify the behavior. When someone leaves Apple or Google, part of the company's intellectual property just walked out the door. There is a reason that in tech companies in particular the term for Human Resources has been replaced by Talent Management.
It seems fair to extrapolate that as work becomes more and more knowledge based, even manufacturing with AI, then regard for the talent that provides the intellectual horsepower will have to improve as well. And, yes, it will have to migrate to business school as well.
Circle of Compassion, Einstein
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Alert Einstein
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