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(The Motley Fool)   It turns out that the single biggest problem with America's labor force is YOU   (fool.com) divider line 150
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5172 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Jul 2013 at 9:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-22 06:24:45 AM  
Turns out I don't want to work in a sweatshop and US Industry/business has never gotten out of that mentality
 
2013-07-22 07:18:57 AM  
The results of that study showed that only 30% of the American workforce is actively engaged in their job (i.e., they're innovative and willing to work toward bettering the business). The remaining 70% are either not engaged (52%) and are simply going through the motions, or are actively disengaged (18%) and are actually seeking ways to undermine their employer.

So, nearly a bell curve.  I doubt the trend as described has changed much in 100 years.
 
2013-07-22 07:19:53 AM  
capping executive pay

That alone makes Costco the best corporation around.
 
2013-07-22 08:06:42 AM  
The results of that study showed that only 30% of the American workforce is actively engaged in their job (i.e., they're innovative and willing to work toward bettering the business).

Strange. It's almost as if when the business world tells you that you are nothing but a disposable commodity and is willing to last you off our outright fire you for a few extra stock points, people become unmotivated and unwilling to work harder to further that goal.

Weird. What ungrateful peasants.
 
2013-07-22 08:21:29 AM  
theskooloflife.com
 
2013-07-22 08:32:43 AM  
"They pretend to pay us, so we pretend to work."
 
2013-07-22 08:43:34 AM  
Remember, having a family and a life outside of work is the same as stealing from the company!
 
2013-07-22 08:51:32 AM  

Shadowknight: The results of that study showed that only 30% of the American workforce is actively engaged in their job (i.e., they're innovative and willing to work toward bettering the business).

Strange. It's almost as if when the business world tells you that you are nothing but a disposable commodity and is willing to last you off our outright fire you for a few extra stock points, people become unmotivated and unwilling to work harder to further that goal.

Weird. What ungrateful peasants.


Seriously. The layoffs here meant a lot of us had to compete for our own jobs. A cheapass staff BBQ once a year isn't going to bounce morale back from that.  Angry exhausted resentful workers with no job stability make for a terrible workforce, and that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.
 
2013-07-22 08:59:45 AM  
If I though for one second that I would see any benefit from innovating for the company, I might be motivated to do it.  Instead recent history has shown us that all profits from increasing efficiency goes to the top, so let them figure out how to do it.
 
2013-07-22 09:30:10 AM  
I love love love my company. Job - meh - it has its ups and downs. Company is private though which is pretty much the reason why it's awesome and not a gruesome movement of jobs to third world countries so some executive can squeeze $2 more out of the share price.

If companies gave less of a sh*t about what Wall Street wanted and instead focused on simply remaining profitable, competitive, and innovative, the world would probably be a better place. That doesn't mean layoffs wouldn't occur or low-paying jobs wouldn't move overseas, but it would be more focused on worker and environmental well-being.

Also, if you are a pro-American worker type of person, consider what you buy and who you buy it from.
 
2013-07-22 09:33:33 AM  

Shadowknight: The results of that study showed that only 30% of the American workforce is actively engaged in their job (i.e., they're innovative and willing to work toward bettering the business).

Strange. It's almost as if when the business world tells you that you are nothing but a disposable commodity and is willing to last you off our outright fire you for a few extra stock points, people become unmotivated and unwilling to work harder to further that goal.

Weird. What ungrateful peasants.


THIS
 
2013-07-22 10:08:19 AM  
Yay. Yahoo page fodder.
 
2013-07-22 10:08:37 AM  
When I was a fresh out college graduate I was an eager go getter, after busting my ass for 60-80 hours a week at around seven different places and being let go, down sized, right sized, and just plain fired my attitude pretty much sucks.

You can blame the worker for not being engaged, but why should we when we are not being paid to be engaged. The benefits of innovation don't fall to us, massive profits are not reflected in my paycheck, and I don't get bonuses. I have no job stability and I expect to be fired any day. Every day I realize that I should have never gone to college and should have gone into business with my dad. I could have been an operating engineer running an excavating company doing contract work building roads, ditches, and sewers.

Yeah I should have been a ditch digger, there really is a lot of money to be made there if you know what you are doing.
 
2013-07-22 10:09:53 AM  
I always knew I was important!!
 
2013-07-22 10:12:58 AM  
Start paying people a living wage and watch their satisfaction & engagement skyrocket.

If I'm not making enough money to LIVE, why would I care about my job?
 
2013-07-22 10:13:54 AM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: Seriously. The layoffs here meant a lot of us had to compete for our own jobs. A cheapass staff BBQ once a year isn't going to bounce morale back from that. Angry exhausted resentful workers with no job stability make for a terrible workforce, and that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.


Layoffs? As in plural? Ouch.

Same thing happened to me once. The entire time I just kept telling them cut once cut deep and with that it can be forgotten and we can move on. But the constant fear and injury killed the place.

Life would be better if Machiavelli was taught in high school
 
2013-07-22 10:15:51 AM  
"We really shouldn't be shocked to see service workers -- think retail or food service -- toward the bottom of this list"

I'm not sure how the 3% difference between that sector and the 2nd-highest (sales) constitutes that line; far more interesting to me is how uniform the dissatisfaction is across the board. If even our white-collar jobs are leading to such high levels of disengagement or out-and-out disdain, where will we be when the next generation comes of age after being taught by their parents that their career isn't something to aspire to?

I'd also like to see a similar study conducted amongst other OECD or BRIC nations to see if the problems are as endemic there as they are in the good ol' U.S.A.
 
2013-07-22 10:19:21 AM  
Until recently I worked for a large bank and credit card company.  Of course we were all treated like expenses, but it was more than that. I couldn't go a month without reading about the company farking over overseas military vets or lying to their cardholders or breaking any crime they think they could get away with.

I was ashamed to be a part of that.
 
2013-07-22 10:20:21 AM  

VinnyV: "We really shouldn't be shocked to see service workers -- think retail or food service -- toward the bottom of this list"

I'm not sure how the 3% difference between that sector and the 2nd-highest (sales) constitutes that line; far more interesting to me is how uniform the dissatisfaction is across the board. If even our white-collar jobs are leading to such high levels of disengagement or out-and-out disdain, where will we be when the next generation comes of age after being taught by their parents that their career isn't something to aspire to?

I'd also like to see a similar study conducted amongst other OECD or BRIC nations to see if the problems are as endemic there as they are in the good ol' U.S.A.


The people of those nations, hopefully, aren't seeing their take-home income & standard of living decrease over time, and their children & grandchildren having measurably worse opportunities than they did.  Hopefully - because if they are, then it's not just America, but the whole world that's on an economic race to the bottom, where wealth concentrates exponentially at the top & everyone else is kept just above a subsistence lifestyle.
 
kab
2013-07-22 10:20:22 AM  
Employers will eventually catch on to the notion that loyalty is indeed a two way street.  By showing none, and generally being unwilling to take on, train, and retain motivated people, you get exactly the employee you deserve.
 
2013-07-22 10:34:33 AM  

VinnyV: I'd also like to see a similar study conducted amongst other OECD or BRIC nations to see if the problems are as endemic there as they are in the good ol' U.S.A.


In OECD nations the idea that management and labor are inherently in an antagonistic relationship doesn't exist or where it does does so to a far lesser degree than in the US. Which makes things a lot better for everyone. In a country like Denmark or Holland or Germany management realizes that everyone has a common goal and treating workers like crap is contrary to that goal.
 
2013-07-22 10:41:05 AM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: God Is My Co-Pirate: Seriously. The layoffs here meant a lot of us had to compete for our own jobs. A cheapass staff BBQ once a year isn't going to bounce morale back from that. Angry exhausted resentful workers with no job stability make for a terrible workforce, and that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.

Layoffs? As in plural? Ouch.

Same thing happened to me once. The entire time I just kept telling them cut once cut deep and with that it can be forgotten and we can move on. But the constant fear and injury killed the place.

Life would be better if Machiavelli was taught in high school


Plural, yes.  They called them "waves."  If you were planning on taking early retirement anyway, you had a buyout option where you got to *choose* someone else's job to save. You can imagine how good that was for workplace morale.

I'm in the public service, so it was accompanied by lots of gloating by the conservatives about how much "deadwood" they were cutting. We lost about 1/4 of our staff - almost all the assistants and tech guys who actually knew how to do things.  Not so much the managers.  Funny that.
 
2013-07-22 10:45:51 AM  
The ridiculous expectations of the people who failed their way up into "upper management" never cease to amaze me.  We have a public school system that's designed to produce docile, workplace-compatible bodies (see Foucault; Ackoff & Greenberg; others), and yet when they land in the workplace, employers complain that they can't do what they've never been taught to do, such as thinking creatively or working with passion.

Colleges aren't much better off--funding woes have forced lots of colleges and universities to strike devil's bargains with corporations, who expect the college (not trade schools, mind you) to perform job training so the company doesn't have to.  Business schools raise the students' expectations of what working in business is like, without addressing the fact that the student will spend the first 5 years of employment doing shiat work and using none of their business-school skills (if they can get a job at all after they graduate).  "Paying your dues" in business used to mean that you spent some time doing hard work while learning the ropes (being trained, in other words), but if companies have handed off their training to colleges, then paying your dues in the workplace simply becomes an empty exercise in suffering and humiliation.  No wonder people get dejected and de-motivated once they get into the workplace and find that everything they thought they knew about ethical human interaction has been tossed out the window because "it's just business."

/Over-simplified for your enjoyment, but still valid.
 
2013-07-22 10:47:33 AM  
So just because we don't show slavish loyalty to a company that will can us at the drop of a hat for a few bucks means somehow we're the problem?

Hey, if they showed loyalty to me, I would reciprocate.
 
2013-07-22 10:48:47 AM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: Shadowknight: The results of that study showed that only 30% of the American workforce is actively engaged in their job (i.e., they're innovative and willing to work toward bettering the business).

Strange. It's almost as if when the business world tells you that you are nothing but a disposable commodity and is willing to last you off our outright fire you for a few extra stock points, people become unmotivated and unwilling to work harder to further that goal.

Weird. What ungrateful peasants.

Seriously. The layoffs here meant a lot of us had to compete for our own jobs. A cheapass staff BBQ once a year isn't going to bounce morale back from that.  Angry exhausted resentful workers with no job stability make for a terrible workforce, and that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.


Do I work with you?

Two rounds of layoffs, no raise in three years, while they keep acquiring and building new practices. Amazing how they have money for that and no money to pay the workers.
 
2013-07-22 10:51:21 AM  

kab: Employers will eventually catch on to the notion that loyalty is indeed a two way street.  By showing none, and generally being unwilling to take on, train, and retain motivated people, you get exactly the employee you deserve.


Bwahahahaha! *gasp* Hahahahaha! *gasp* No really, stop; you're killing me!  Hahahahaha! *clutches chest* Hahahahaha!

You sound like me from many years ago.  Sadly, the massive majority will never come to that same conclusion.  I was so happy when I paid off my haus, etc..., peeled off the suit-n-tie, and went to work for myself.

/very flexible hours, but meh paycheque
//only annoyance is dealing with my accountant once a week, but that's solved with having beers with him while we work
///usually wear jeans/jorts and t-shirt
////office is 1 mile from haus, and has huge glass window overlooking the Hudson river
 
2013-07-22 10:54:17 AM  

Lochsteppe: Colleges aren't much better off


That has more to do with Foucault than it does with funding woes. Deconstructionism pretty much deconstructed higher education by getting all meta and caught up in semantics. Any discipline that was infested with "theory" pretty much stopped teaching structure thereby rendering their graduates useless in the workplace.
 
2013-07-22 10:55:11 AM  

Slaves2Darkness: When I was a fresh out college graduate I was an eager go getter, after busting my ass for 60-80 hours a week at around seven different places and being let go, down sized, right sized, and just plain fired my attitude pretty much sucks.

You can blame the worker for not being engaged, but why should we when we are not being paid to be engaged. The benefits of innovation don't fall to us, massive profits are not reflected in my paycheck, and I don't get bonuses. I have no job stability and I expect to be fired any day. Every day I realize that I should have never gone to college and should have gone into business with my dad. I could have been an operating engineer running an excavating company doing contract work building roads, ditches, and sewers.

Yeah I should have been a ditch digger, there really is a lot of money to be made there if you know what you are doing.


THIS.

One of my previous jobs I was responsible for cutting waste from telecommunications.  Unused circuits, billing errors, excessive services, new technology, those kinds of things.  I saved the company I was working for at least 20X what they ever paid me in salary and benefits.  First downturn, the entire department was outsourced because we were "too expensive".

Now I jump ship at the smallest hint of trouble or the tiniest improvement in compensation.  I'm a career whore and totally OK with it.  Companies have lost the right to my loyalty.
 
2013-07-22 10:58:46 AM  
 The remaining 70% are either not engaged (52%) and are simply going through the motions, or are actively disengaged (18%) and are actually seeking ways to undermine their employer.

Companies shiat on their employees with layoffs, furloughs, and block even minimal cost-of-living raises while the CEO sends out mailings about how profitable they were this quarter, and people are shocked when the employees act disengaged??? really?
 
2013-07-22 11:01:20 AM  

AngryDragon: Slaves2Darkness: When I was a fresh out college graduate I was an eager go getter, after busting my ass for 60-80 hours a week at around seven different places and being let go, down sized, right sized, and just plain fired my attitude pretty much sucks.

You can blame the worker for not being engaged, but why should we when we are not being paid to be engaged. The benefits of innovation don't fall to us, massive profits are not reflected in my paycheck, and I don't get bonuses. I have no job stability and I expect to be fired any day. Every day I realize that I should have never gone to college and should have gone into business with my dad. I could have been an operating engineer running an excavating company doing contract work building roads, ditches, and sewers.

Yeah I should have been a ditch digger, there really is a lot of money to be made there if you know what you are doing.

THIS.

One of my previous jobs I was responsible for cutting waste from telecommunications.  Unused circuits, billing errors, excessive services, new technology, those kinds of things.  I saved the company I was working for at least 20X what they ever paid me in salary and benefits.  First downturn, the entire department was outsourced because we were "too expensive".

Now I jump ship at the smallest hint of trouble or the tiniest improvement in compensation.  I'm a career whore and totally OK with it.  Companies have lost the right to my loyalty.


Been there, bro.  Saved/Made them $$ and had my azz kicked hard, so many times.  Good for you for knowing when to jump.  I generally knew when to jump, too, but got tired of the drama.

/now self-employed
//still have a dick for a boss
///gives me a nice office, though
 
2013-07-22 11:02:34 AM  
I find it interesting that The Motley Fool is still around.
 
2013-07-22 11:03:50 AM  
Well treat people with dignity and respect and pay them decently and you would be suprised how much better morale gets. Had to go to a forced happy hour once a month with the boss. Most people would show up have a drink or two eat and slip away in the crowd. Boss used to get pissed at us especially after one guy orderd about $80 worth of food to go on the bosses tab and left. That was funny.
 
2013-07-22 11:03:57 AM  

rk1i: I was so happy when I paid off my haus


rk1i: office is 1 mile from haus


Do you mean House??
 
2013-07-22 11:04:49 AM  

wiseolddude: I find it interesting that The Motley Fool is still around.


Same... I was more shocked that by that than the article.
 
2013-07-22 11:05:34 AM  
Employers want creative and passionate workers but do not know how to attract them. I'm currently looking and have interviewed with some very well-known companies. Since I work in marketing/branding, it is not unusual for me to turn in a "creative test" where the company not only reviews my portfolio but the work I can do for them specifically. I haven't had one company NOT like my creative work. I've yet to find a company that will allow me to work when my mind works best and that respects work/life balance.

My husband works crazy hours as an attorney and I have a bulldog with on-going medical issues. I can work 12 hours a day (actually, when you monitor social accounts you are always working) but not in-office 12 hours a day. Someone in this partnership has to keep everything running and I earn more being Mrs. xxx than what these employers are offering after even salary negotiations. Then they are SO surprised when their offer is turned down. Want to attract talent without raising salaries significantly? Offer life-friendly work place flexibility!
 
2013-07-22 11:07:29 AM  

EvilEgg: If I though for one second that I would see any benefit from innovating for the company, I might be motivated to do it.  Instead recent history has shown us that all profits from increasing efficiency goes to the top, so let them figure out how to do it.


Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?

Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.

Bob Slydell: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

i.qkme.me
 
2013-07-22 11:08:14 AM  

raerae1980: rk1i: I was so happy when I paid off my haus

rk1i: office is 1 mile from haus

Do you mean House??


Probably. Haus is german for house.
 
2013-07-22 11:21:17 AM  

raerae1980: rk1i: I was so happy when I paid off my haus

rk1i: office is 1 mile from haus

Do you mean House??


He means Big Haus from Pawn Stars.  He paid Big Haus for sex; they are only 1 mile apart.
 
2013-07-22 11:21:43 AM  
Company does well: Directors etc get bonuses and pay raises. Guys on the floor have to tighten their belts.
Company struggles: Directors etc get bonuses and pay raises. Guys on the floor have to tighten their belts.

Is there any chance this could have a negative effect on the morale of the workers?
 
2013-07-22 11:25:51 AM  

raerae1980: rk1i: I was so happy when I paid off my haus

rk1i: office is 1 mile from haus

Do you mean House??


Yes.  Old habit, when I write informally to friends.

simplicimus: raerae1980: rk1i: I was so happy when I paid off my haus

rk1i: office is 1 mile from haus

Do you mean House??

Probably. Haus is german for house.


Yup.
 
2013-07-22 11:27:23 AM  

Slaves2Darkness: When I was a fresh out college graduate I was an eager go getter, after busting my ass for 60-80 hours a week at around seven different places and being let go, down sized, right sized, and just plain fired my attitude pretty much sucks.

You can blame the worker for not being engaged, but why should we when we are not being paid to be engaged. The benefits of innovation don't fall to us, massive profits are not reflected in my paycheck, and I don't get bonuses. I have no job stability and I expect to be fired any day. Every day I realize that I should have never gone to college and should have gone into business with my dad. I could have been an operating engineer running an excavating company doing contract work building roads, ditches, and sewers.

Yeah I should have been a ditch digger, there really is a lot of money to be made there if you know what you are doing.


Never understood why people look down on ditch diggers. They get to play with stuff like this all day:

www.gassertruevalue.com

And like you mentioned, a lot of those companies are still small and independent.
 
2013-07-22 11:29:01 AM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: The Stealth Hippopotamus: God Is My Co-Pirate: Seriously. The layoffs here meant a lot of us had to compete for our own jobs. A cheapass staff BBQ once a year isn't going to bounce morale back from that. Angry exhausted resentful workers with no job stability make for a terrible workforce, and that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.

Layoffs? As in plural? Ouch.

Same thing happened to me once. The entire time I just kept telling them cut once cut deep and with that it can be forgotten and we can move on. But the constant fear and injury killed the place.

Life would be better if Machiavelli was taught in high school

Plural, yes.  They called them "waves."  If you were planning on taking early retirement anyway, you had a buyout option where you got to *choose* someone else's job to save. You can imagine how good that was for workplace morale.

I'm in the public service, so it was accompanied by lots of gloating by the conservatives about how much "deadwood" they were cutting. We lost about 1/4 of our staff - almost all the assistants and tech guys who actually knew how to do things.  Not so much the managers.  Funny that.


From a manager viewpoint, you can outsource assistants and tech guys which is the big goal in this downsizing. It's not about saving money. It's so Harper can feed his corporate buddies service contracts which ultimately will cost taxpayers more but the costs are hidden in different funds. The managers will then manage the contractors.
 
2013-07-22 11:41:12 AM  
When ISN'T all the problems of the economy the fault of the labor force? Either they're jumping jobs too often, want too much money, not retiring at an early enough age, demanding benefits, or not spending enough of the money they're given.

If only the government would legalize human trafficking, businesses could start making some REAL money.
 
2013-07-22 11:42:12 AM  
Well, lets see..............................

Real Wages have been stagnant for the last 30 years while worker productivity has gone through the roof.  wonder were all that extra wealth went.............hummm......


Big Business has made it clear over the last 30 years that the worker is expendable.  just another cog.

then the Turds wonder why Americans are not 'engaged'


makes sense.  Take/Steal as much as you can from your employees and then whine when they don't seem to give a rat's ass about you or your company.

sounds Logical and Reasonable.
 
2013-07-22 11:43:03 AM  

LemSkroob: Companies shiat on their employees with layoffs, furloughs, and block even minimal cost-of-living raises while the CEO sends out mailings about how profitable they were this quarter, and people are shocked when the employees act disengaged??? really?


Ding Ding Ding!  We have a winner!
 
2013-07-22 11:43:04 AM  

basemetal: [theskooloflife.com image 545x436]



Bingo!   you won the Prize.
 
2013-07-22 11:43:59 AM  

Majick Thise: Turns out I don't want to work in a sweatshop and US Industry/business has never gotten out of that mentality



but.........but..........its Freedom!!


Arbeit Mach Frei!   (work makes you Free)    a popular Nazi slogan.
 
2013-07-22 11:44:37 AM  

doglover: capping executive pay

That alone makes Costco the best corporation around.



Europe has been doing that for years.
 
2013-07-22 11:45:54 AM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Remember, having a family and a life outside of work is the same as stealing from the company!



America: a Government of,by, and for Big Business.

Hail to the Chiefs!
 
2013-07-22 11:47:54 AM  

bdub77: I love love love my company. Job - meh - it has its ups and downs. Company is private though which is pretty much the reason why it's awesome and not a gruesome movement of jobs to third world countries so some executive can squeeze $2 more out of the share price.

If companies gave less of a sh*t about what Wall Street wanted and instead focused on simply remaining profitable, competitive, and innovative, the world would probably be a better place. That doesn't mean layoffs wouldn't occur or low-paying jobs wouldn't move overseas, but it would be more focused on worker and environmental well-being.

Also, if you are a pro-American worker type of person, consider what you buy and who you buy it from.



Walmart: We exploit cheap communist chinese labor so you don't have to!!

and our Stockholders/Brass are laughing all the way to the Bank.
 
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