What if “It’s the way we’ve always done it” isn’t good enough anymore?
Good morning! I’m back. After wrestling with multiple topics like business strategy, part of my story in work life, etc. However, there’s a particular subject that I’ve been quietly passionate about. I didn’t really notice it until recently, but something that genuinely bothers me. There have been versions of it written about it before. But I believe my point of view on it, is something that hasn’t been dwelled upon as much. I’m writing about why employers shouldn’t mistreat their employees.
Some of us may have heard of or seen “Good employees don’t quit their jobs. They quit their bosses.” While there is plenty of truth and statistics that back up that point, I want to touch on a point that I personally believe in. I will share it but first I wish to put a disclaimer here before I go on.
I’m not sure if any you have noticed but we live in a very politicized world. Everyone and everything seems to interject politics into things that growing up were normal everyday things. Personally I’m not a fan of it. There is way too much blanket statement-making and not enough personal conversation. I understand that we have freedom of speech and we’re all entitled to our opinions. None the less, I still believe there is an appropriate time and place to share specific topics, and that just because you can say whatever you want doesn’t mean you always should. So with all of that being said, what I’m about to write about IS NOT political or trying to promote any sort of policy. I’m simply trying to convey another side to employer and employee debate. I ask that you not put words in my mouth (or my hands since I typed this out) or take words away to fit a narrow opinion. Take it all in, as it’s written, and make your decision from there.
Good! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s jump into why employers shouldn’t mistreat their employees. Contrary to the highlight reel-esque instagram postings you see from your basic entrepreneur, being a business owner is not as easy or glamorous as it’s presented. It’s messy. There are ups and downs, and there are different kinds of stresses that the average person will never see or understand simply because they’re not in the employers’ shoes. So many people wish to be the boss without counting the cost. Bosses are under a lot of pressure too most of the time. Why? Because their higher-up is going to give them grief their department’s numbers are down or underperforming. There’s old saying the analyzes this situation well and its goes like this, “s— runs downhill.” They don’t realize the amount of work required to just maintain an establishment or just to get one client. There’s a reason why the percentage of people who own a business is barely beyond of the single digits in the entire workforce. It takes a special person with drive, determination, vision and appropriate funds to be a business owner.
However, there is the other side to being an employee and not an employer. I can say I was once the employee. I remember the first time when I saw the phrase “Good employees don’t quit their jobs. They quit their bosses”. It had me thinking about how different things would be if that weren’t the case. Upon doing more research, what I found was quite eye-opening at how true it is. Per medium.com, I compiled some major statistics:
When surveyed, 82% of employees said they’d be more loyal, and less likely to leave if they had more flexible jobs.
Money is not the problem. In fact, only 12% of employees actually leave their job because they want more money.
89% of bosses wrongly believe their employees quit because they want more money.
Generation X, employees born between 1961 and 1981, reported the highest levels of stress in the workplace, and thus have the highest risk of leaving your company.
In a survey of 2,000 employees, almost half (43%) said they are looking for a new job, and corporate culture was the main reason.
42% of millennials, who have worked at 2 to 4 different companies, said their job creates a huge amount of stress, and 36% feel their job has a negative impact on their health.
These still represent only a portion of the documented evidence out there. The rest can be read here. What this tells me is our workplace as a whole has a major problem, and its not just retention. It’s just a symptom of the real problem. The real problem is treatment of employees by bosses and employers. To me it’s even more nervy of why employees are mistreated. When you think about it in the grand scheme of things, employers (particularly those of big companies) fit in the higher-end level of the income bracket. This means that in essence, the employees are really helping the employers get rich. So then it brings up my biggest gripe with this thought in mind: Why do employers think its completely acceptable to treat employees poorly? When you look at it that way, higher-ups have a lot of nerve to make anyone else’s life miserable. They going to take home the biggest piece of the pie, while everyone else takes a very tiny sliver.
I’m not talking about when employees are fired for poor performance, detrimental conduct or thievery. At the end of the day, we all go to work to do a job and do it well. If that’s not being met, then there are rightful consequences. But I don’t believe that a company’s best workers deserve to get abused whether its thru direct words, actions (especially sexual harassment) and/or policies from the boss, or indirect means like forcing them to do a slacking employee’s work for them. It’s unfair and it runs good laborers out the door.
This is almost 2020. Thinking outside the box is at an all-time high for better or for worse. So let’s begin to re-think how we’ve treated those who work for us and work together to create a better working environment. Facts show workers perform better when they’re encouraged, motivated and feel valued (see article here). Remember they’re still people, with feelings, emotions, souls and bills to pay. Not just a means to an end. Wouldn’t it be pleasant if employers refrained from screaming at them over petty mistakes that won’t make a difference on the bottom line. How about if they thought about how to give them raises when they’re taking home hundreds of thousands and millions by the end of the year. No need need to revert to old methods just because “It’s the way we’ve always done it.” Let a new trend begin.