Consciousness in the Workplace
OK, so this is not exactly what you would expect to see on a serious job board, however before you tune out…consider this. Your work comprises more dedicated time that all other activities save sleeping. My bet is that sleeping comes second if you are like most Americans.
Today, I read an obscure posting online. In summary, the author was working 40 hours a week, making decent raises (5% or better) and comfortable in his life and work. Now he works 50 hours plus some, has been limited to only 2% per year, lost 40% of the original benefits given him 9 years ago. He hates life. Pile on top of this equation, that he is putting his son through college (because education will give him more career choices) and the tuition burden (albeit in student loans) is a killer.
The author of this online blog is not alone. More and more environments are responding to the tough economic downturns. The responses from employers seem to reflect a significant lack of workplace consciousness. As told here by the author, the change in the work agreement is drastic.
However, through his shock and surprise, we are discovering that the worker has himself been, ‘asleep’. His son, listening most of his life that college will bring a better life, sees his older friends graduated and unable to pay their student loans. All through college, life was so easy; no need for him to work, just focus on the school studies. Like dad, he has been ‘asleep’ too.
This loss of consciousness swirling around the workplace has gone viral. So much entitlement oozing from workers who believed the good times would never end; the businesses who thought their doors would never close and the students who thought their college education was the ultimate golden ticket.
Let’s look at another extreme. One business, fully alert to the potential business downturn, decided to share the bad news with their employees. After all, the employees had been their “success partners” for some time, so why hide the reality. Located in a small town with few really good jobs, the company engaged the employees in conversations around ideas that could transform the business and get everyone through the rough patch. The employees realized that at least 35% of the workforce would lose their jobs, their insurances and eventually their homes. What they did in response to this news was remarkable.
The entire workforce population agreed that no one would leave, however everyone would change their employment agreement to reduce the amount of hours as the slow-down occurred. So incredible an idea when conveyed to the executives, the executives also agreed to leave their bonus checks ‘on the table’ and forfeit most of their perks at work. Once in place, the group at large looked at shared expenses within the workforce. A bus was hired to reduce travel expenses, the amount of gas and expenses for individual cars. Even at private homes, meals were cooked in a round robin fashion to feed groups at a time to cut down on lunch expenses. Shifts were re-arranged so to reduce the amount of effort and expense for child care and back and forth transportation for school. What happened to the down-time? Small teams were formed to identify ways to strengthen the community-which at large would be impacted meaningfully by the loss of revenues. It appears that consciousness was totally on the job for this company. Question is…why is it absent in so many others?