While travelling recently I read a new survey in USA Today Snapshots on Loyalty Gap perceptions between Employers and Employees. It shared that 59% of employers in 2011 felt that they were very loyal to their employees and that percentage had increased from 52% in 2010.
At the same time, only 32% of employees believed that their employer was very loyal to them and that percentage had declined from 40% in 2010.
Clearly employers and employees are not on the same page.
When I share these stats with some of my peers virtually no one feels that employers are loyal. I don’t think that anyone who has been through the great recession wouldn’t be skeptical about those findings. We live in times in the New Normal where companies are cash rich and employee lean.
In one generation of working we have moved from an employer-employee relationships where thirty years ago it was the norm for a person to be hired into an organization out of school and then remain for the next 20 or 25 years or longer with that company and then retire. The term gold watch has disappeared from the work lexicon.
But now we are at a Mexican Standoff so to speak where employers need top talent and people want jobs but at the same time employees don’t trust their employer and would move to a better opportunity at the drop of the hat because they know that employer would fire them at the sign of any economic downturn. They have shared many beers with friends and associates or spouses who texted them that they had just been let go a month after being told by their boss they were great. I know of many Millennials who have had three jobs already.
I also recently read a very interesting blog by Sarah Miller Caldicott on the definition of progress for Gen Y’s. She outlines that Gen Y’s are looking for flexibility in their work environment including access to social networks. She wrote that “Gen Y seeks participation in collaborative activity that involves sweeps of people including-but also lying beyond-those co-habiting their office space.”
I share the same belief and have posted some blogs recently on my belief that the most successful companies in the future will be the ones who train their employees to be the best networked.
Smart companies will foster smarter employees and make them more marketable.
Recently I heard about one Fortune 500 company who was actively training their employees to have optimized profiles on Linkedin and had implemented a four week training program with prizes such as iPads. I have heard whispers of similar activities with other companies.
Here is the New Employer -Employee Win Win. Smart companies will start by training all their employees to rock on Linkedin because of its business focus and allow them to access to social networks during working hours. They will provide them with Linkedin recommendations for their employee profiles.
Employers will also work hard to make their employees more marketable while they are with them. That will be today’s curriculum of professional development and a definition of a company that is best to work for. They will also train them how to network. Employees will appreciate that and as a result they will be better equipped to do their jobs and if things should change, more marketable, and it will be quicker to find a new job.
In return employees will recognize that to a degree their employer has their back to a degree and will channel their network to help them and their employer succeed. A tenuous dance and new employer-employee contract perhaps but better than the Employer blah blah outlined in the USA Snapshot.
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