Inspiring Organizational Growth
As a business owner do you find yourself ready to pull your hair out? Frustrated with new employees you hire who seem to be lazy, uninspired, and less dedicated? Are you sick of people booking off sick for seemingly ridiculous reasons like... "my dog just had surgery" or leaving their jobs after only a year?
Let's examine just what is happening with our new workforce:
Over and over when I meet business owners and introduce them to my new book Knowing Who You Lead-understanding why issues occur, one of the first questions I am asked is "Do you have a chapter on why they are soooo lazy? How am I supposed to run my business when I can't rely on them?"
Here are some of the answers, and STRATEGIES businesses can use to ease the stress and re-define what is viewed as laziness.
Issue #1- Staying in the SAME Job
We have had a fundamental shift in what people value. For many business owners this is a key point of frustration. They complain that "New employees don't seem to have any loyalty. They just come for a year or two and leave. They are always looking for the next best thing. They are not committed, and they don't care".
Our youth have been raised with possibility and options. As children they were offered dozens and dozens of extra-curricular activity options. They could try one for a season and then move onto a new one - football, soccer, lacrosse, play the guitar, take a dance class, go snowboarding, do some pottery, and then join cadets. We encouraged them to chase their passion and explore the world. High schools offer specialized programs and international exchanges. Post secondary school has become a time of exploration and students often change majors or try multiple programs.
When students enter the workforce with the same philosophy. "Let me try it out, see what I think, learn something, and then potentially move on".
As business owners, the first step is to acknowledge this change in work philosophy. Instead of defining it as a "lack of loyalty" it helps to view it as a "need for potential growth". Often employees will leave if they don't see themselves growing or learning new things.
Issue #2- Boredom
Over and over employees tell me " They didn't appreciate the skills I have. I have experience in marketing, but all they wanted me to do was admin work". In many cases employees leave a work force to utilize skills that would have been beneficial to their existing employer.
Utilize Skill Sets:
Employees have been told to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Often this means they have skills and experience business owners are unaware of. Ironically, they may actually have skills that are unfilled in an empty job posting.
Issue #3- Differing Priorities
While it may seem ridiculous for an employee to book off sick because their dog had surgery, it makes complete sense to them. People are no longer willing to drop everything for work. Employees tell me " I work to live, I don't live to work. I want to have time with family, and sometimes I just need a day off".
Rather than allowing this to become a source of frustration, employers need to try a new approach.
Offer Ability to Plan Time Off
Although it may seem initially frustrating to accept that employees will book off more than previous workers did, allowing for employees to openly let you know about their plans may help.
Changing Your Perspective
Although the employees of today may not MATCH your ideal perception of a DEDICATED employee, they are still very valuable. In many cases, when I am asked the question "why are employees sooo lazy" the answer really lies in "so what are you doing to engage them?". By trying new approaches, and meeting their needs for professional growth, utilizing and enhancing their skills, trying out new jobs, and having a health work-life balance, business owners are having more success in retaining their employees.
To learn more about author Carrie-Lynn Hotson, her HR consultancy business , and her new book Knowing Who You Lead, visit her website www.inspiringorganizationalgrowth.co/home
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Carrie-Lynn Hotson is the author of Knowing Who You Lead, has created a series of blog posts to generate discussion, insight and inspire transformational leadership growth.