The paper this morning was filled with job information. Not the kind we want to see, but the problems associated with our working world. One article discussed how even with a 9.1% unemployment rate people are still quitting their jobs. It seems they are so fed up that even the prospect of being out of work for a while is better than what they are putting up with in their current job. I would hope that these folks that are giving their notices have new jobs lined up.
The second article I thought was interesting was entitled “Even Hints of Layoffs Decay Morale.” Examples that are given include Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, and Goldman Sachs Group. The numbers associated with these organizations are staggering. 30,000 for B of A, 25,000 for HSBC, and 1,000 for Goldman Sachs. Obviously, working for these companies at this point in time is stressful.
I am positive that in these organizations employees are saying, “if they would have listened?” This seems to be a huge mistake that managers across the board are making. “People in powerful positions, such as managers, tend to dismiss other’s advice when making decisions.” Its not like we don’t discuss this in college. People that study business are required to take several classes that explore communication. In many classes professors will create listening exercises to drive the point home that it is important to listen. Yet, here we are, unhappy employees who think that their managers don’t listen to them.
Gary Hamel in his book The Future of Management discusses the failures of management in this complex modern society. “These new realities call for new organizational and managerial capabilities. To thrive in an increasingly disruptive world, companies must become as strategically adaptable as they are operationally efficient.”
The question is whether organizations are operationally efficient? Employee moral is critical to operational efficiency. If our people are waiting to quit when they find something new, they are not giving 100%. It seems like managers are missing the boat.
How can we change this in the classroom? As Thomas Kuhn notes in his classic work on paradigms, “real progress demands a revolution.” So in the classroom we have got to do some radically different activities to get young future managers to see the importance of valuing employees and listening, resulting in a more satisfied and productive workforce.
This is not something that will occur overnight. The old guard has been in place for years, and they are committed to the way it is now. But its Friday and Sunday is coming.
The fact is the millennials are beginning to join the workforce. They are a different breed, and they will demand a change. They will start small companies, they will create change in large ones too. We academics need to adjust a bit to make sure they are ready to face the challenge. We need to make sure they are prepared.
And that is my thought for the day!