It’s a bold and aggressive statement and got your attention. It’s also (IMHO) true and here’s why.
GE Life is Over
I worked for a large corporate entity which was ticking over just OK and then came the private equity / GE management people and their Jack Welch “you’re with us or out (and even if you’re with us, you might be out)” approach. It was needed to a point but it was also flawed because it was littered with personal agendas and backhanders. It stripped the very essence of the business which had a fantastic innovation core and reduced everything to a dollar sign.
During an economic recession this makes sense as a business needs to remain profitable to move forward and develop itself; it also needs its’ people to reinvent themselves to adapt to the challenging environment.
During that time I witnessed initiatives reduced layer after layer until our clients were screaming blue murder and threatening to leave, at which point the business would inject a ton of cash. Trouble is, they’d pissed off many of their experts who had left to other companies. Said company had also off-shored many jobs as those offshore resources were not equipped to deal with the magnitude of the task at hand (not to mention at a geographic disadvantage).
Don’t get me wrong here, I think off-shoring works really, really well for certain circumstance and I’ve made some fantastic friends in the those companies – but they don’t work for *my* company – they’re on contract and like any contractor, they’re only as loyal and passionate as long as they get the job done and are paid for it (generalisation).
The Tide is Changing
I left said company and moved into another industry; I miss the old company and its’ people but it was time for me to go. I have also witnessed the significant shoots of growth in both industries and also a shift in approaches by management teams and employees.
This regained resurgence has prompted employees to look for new employment and thus employers are starting to make more attractive offers. Unlike the old wave of enticement though, candidates are more savvy about what they want and what to look for. No longer are there the stories being told in the interview which, when the employee starts, realises that these were an extension of the truth… instead they’re using sites like http://glassdoor.com et al to feel out the businesses that are really interested in innovation and investment in the future.
Case in point, a healthcare company was repeatedly trying to get me to interview and I repeatedly refused. Why? Because they had a dreadful overall review on GlassDoor which told a story about a company that was rife with internal political battles and powerplays mixed with low investment in innovation. If I was going into a company like that it would be at CIO level to make the changes that otherwise would be stifled.
And So It Came To Pass
In the next few years employees will drive the value in companies through their job changes. People with real experience and value will gravitate towards those companies that offer true value through innovation, investment and opportunity whilst removing the old school ways of being.
No longer can we sustain this “you must be here by 8am and leave by 7pm” – You must put in the hours you need to do your job. You must feel passionate and be the ambassador for the company you work for. You must respect your colleagues and develop them as they should you. Your employer should treat you like an adult (as you should act like one) and respect that you may have a family and life that needs you as much (if not more at times) than your job.
Those companies that don’t promote that will be also-rans and failures. Those employees who don’t try also tempt the same fate.