Alan Webber, founder of Fast Company, has a piece in USA Today talking about workers’ discontent with their corporate jobs. Webber quotes a recent study by Spherion, a Florida-based recruiting and outsourcing firm, that found ” 51% of the 3,000 workers interviewed wanted to leave their jobs, and 75% said they were likely to leave within one year. Both percentages are substantially higher than the numbers from Spherion’s 1997 study.”
Webber says “But you don’t need a study to see it coming. Workers would rather take early retirement and gamble that they’ll find something better later. Take the example of Verizon. Last year, the telecommunications company offered generous early retirement packages for workers and managers, hoping to trim the workforce by 12,000 people. Instead, more than 21,000 people took the buyout package, including 16,000 managers who thought the company’s offer was too good to refuse.”
Webber adds: “…Costs are easier to total up than the “soft” numbers. Human-resource experts will tell you the real costs of employees opting out are deep, systemic and long term. The reason is simple: The best people always leave first, because they have the most choices. After the best people leave, the second-rate people get promoted and they have a tendency to hire and promote third-rate people. Follow this to its logical conclusion, and you can see how once-great companies gradually slide into mediocrity and then failure.”
The piece is also clear on Webber’s ideas that the years of cutbacks, layoffs and wage inequities have burned out lots of American workers who are now more interested in running their own businesses or working in smaller companies that they once were.
(Thanks, Halley)