Harvard Business blogger Tammy Erickson points out the following:
And then poses the question: Is this practice changing the relationship between employers and employees? She posits the idea that because Companies are forcing Employees to work 32 hours a week rather than the 50-60 hours, Employers have planted the seed of a new way of looking at work in Employeesâ€™ minds. She believes companies will now lose that â€œsense of total dedicationâ€ that causes Employees to answer emails whenever they arrive or participate in odd-hour phone calls.
At the risk of sounding cynical, I disagree. Why? Because:
- The Social Contract was breached in the 1980s and since then there has been no â€œsense of total dedicationâ€ for most Employees.
- This most recent example of expendability only reinforces what Employees of every generation have come to realize since the layoffs of early 1980s: its every employee for themselves and the company is merely a stepping stone â€“ not a safe haven - on the way to (hopefully) a better life.
- Employees are dedicated to themselves and the other Employees on their work team, not the organization.
- The WorkQuakeâ„¢ of the Knowledge Economy is in full swing and nearly all Employees realize they are Free Agents, subject to lay-offs and reductions in hours and wages as the economy, not the Employer, dictates.
- The Core Employees will continue to contribute at 110% because it is in their DNA to do so â€“ but they will be looking for other opportunities at other companies if they are not appropriately recognized/rewarded for their efforts.
- The Temporary Employees and The Others werenâ€™t working more than 32 hours a week before the reduction in hours, and theyâ€™ll keep up that blistering pace so they donâ€™t get fired.
This concept of â€œtotal dedicationâ€ to the company is way behind the reality of the workplace. Itâ€™s time to accept the reality of the world as it is and not as we might
want it to be and stop bemoaning the loss of trust and loyalty. Most Employees have already been forced to do just this.
Which point of view do you subscribe to?