Stumbled across this talk on TV today, only to go online and find out it’s from a couple of months ago but a great round table discussion nevertheless on the current upheaval affecting the work world.
One thing I felt while watching this was flashbacks of pain and frustration from previous work experiences. I’ve mentioned before that due to my highly sensitive personality, I’m kind of like a canary in a coal mine, thus I’m able to detect and empathetically feel the cultural atmosphere of the organizational environment based on its people. But trying to talk to management and get them to understand the feeling of the needs of their people can be an exhausting affair.
Of particular note was one employer in the restaurant industry saying it’s even difficult to try to start a conversation with potential employees because many don’t show up for interviews and others even quit and disappear without giving notice as to why.
And as soon as I heard this and another employer complaining about potential employees ghosting them without notice, it’s evident to me that this is effectively decades of horrible business practices by employers that are effectively coming back and haunting them. In effect, employees are only mirroring the hiring practices of most business in that they often don’t respond, indicating if you’ve gotten a job or not, or even if why.
And it’s only the beginning, once you’re hired. Trying repeatedly for days, months, or years to talk to management to get them to see and understand issues is exhausting. Employees have had enough. They’re exhausted trying to talk to someone who won’t listen and won’t try to understand their perspective.
Why this is poignant is because over the Christmas holidays, I spent time with my wife’s family and a discussion came up about the labour issues in Canada and the feeling for some was that people are “lazy and don’t want to work anymore.” I immediately turned around and disagreed with this.
I indicated that work is one of the primary ways people feel a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and of being valued by others. People want to work. They’re just exhausted working the old way and have had enough of it because work is no longer working for them.
And this is most evident by the one employer indicating how her remaining employees are being overloaded because she can’t find and hire people, as if she has no choice but to overload them with work. As usual, employees always become the ones who have to stretch and fill the gap. The only problem today is that you can’t fill these gaps anymore because they’re too bottomless and can’t be hidden.
All said and done, I find the situation somewhat ironic in that here we have employers now finally in distress and knowing what employees have felt like for decades in trying to talk but no one was interested in truly listening to them.