Thursday, July 29, 2010

Every job is a temporary job

I was watching an informative video on how to help individuals maintain careers today. It was presented by J.T O’Donnell with and the one major point that stuck out in my mind was hearing “every job is a temporary job”. So this got me thinking about the state of employment today. The United States is an entire nation of temporary workers. Other countries have a much better idea on employee retention. They live in a world of employment contracts. The United States believes that every job is temporary, every employee can be replaced and they can get more out of less people. This mindset proves that not only with temporary employment agencies, but with every employer that retention is not important. Living in an “at will” employment country makes it more difficult to maintain employment. “At Will Employment” means at any time one can be fired for any reason. Now the individual who is fired might never know the reason, they might just walk into work happy as a lark, grab that cup of coffee, and then get the call into the boss’s office just to be told you are terminated.

It seems to be a belief that instead of working with the employee they can just be replaced. I have a few ideas to help the state of the working world that I would like to suggest.
  1. Go to an employment contract state. When a worker signs this agreement the expectations are understood, the rules for management are understood and the employee feels safer with this employer. I think it is more important for an employer to help the employee succeed so the employee can further help the employer succeed.
  2. Remember the time it takes away from others when an employee is fired. HR has to complete a lot of paperwork, they have to send out the job announcement, receive hundreds of resumes to review and dozens of interviews just to replace that individual.
  3. Reach out to the employees and manage them with a more hands on technique. Even if you spent an hour a week just checking in, giving feedback, and helping them train more, the better an employee they will become.
  4. Make sure the employers expectations are known and the job duties desired are being followed.
  5. I would think that employees become less secure and the spider senses begin to tingle when the employee sees and senses that there are secrets being held, or seeing more “secret” meetings between department heads and that just breeds paranoia in the work place.
  6. Give positive feedback when something is done correctly. Giving compliments help an employer get more of that behavior. If you want a child to do something positive reinforcement will get it done faster than negative reinforcement.
  7. Employers, I think that taking 5 minutes out of your day to join the get to work chit chat first thing in the morning or the first coffee break in the break room will show your employees that you see them as people and they can see you as a person.

Even in this economy we can all survive as long as we work together for personal and professional growth.


jt said...

Bravo Chris!

When we came up with the tagline for 18 months ago, we had no idea how true it would become. It's a tough reality, but it doesn't mean we want to see the disintegration of the employee-employer relationship continue. I love your thoughts on ways managers can try to reach out and build a relationship with talent. There are some things we can't control (ie. market shifts), but how we treat one another most certainly can be!

Fran said...

I like your slant on the employment in the U.S. I see it every day and that is exactly what it feels like so I never get to cozy at my workplace. I'd like to refer to your post in my blog on financial management for women.

Gvixis said...

Love this article. I work in the UK so finding out how "temporary" employees are in the USA was an eye-opener (and not in a good way). Great article.

Echo said...

Employers no long appreciate seniority. That older, wiser, employee can be replaced by cheaper employees that earn less wages and benefits. Companies forget what experience brings to the work place, they're only looking at the bottom line.

Chris said...

Thank you all for your comments and I hope you all have a great Holiday season

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