Organisations work people harder than ever. The job market is so loose at the minute that many have to work 3 month contracts or worse, volunteer, to gain entry into the career of their choice. Portfolio careers are now standard in many fields and some people are arguing against a job for life mentality, purely to quell their own fears about a lack of stability. Change is the new constant.
Organisations are now developed to make the most use of the resources they have now. That includes people. I’m sad to say that it’s Human Resources that has done this. Those in the most senior HR roles that I have come across will always say they are business people who are experienced in HR and not HR workers. We make more out of our people who are always going to be our biggest expenditure.
What’s the issue? Why am I sad about this? Because I’ve just discovered my life.
I’ve been in full time employment for the last 7 years after graduating from my undergraduate. I gave everything to my first role. My whole life. I would have done anything I could to get ahead. I wasn’t the right fit there which took long enough to learn but after spending all my time trying to fit in I forgot to stand out. My living was my life. I became depressed when it wasn’t working and have only realised this 9 months into a new role that I am no longer that person. I initially gave as much as I could to that role including many extra tasks which I was interested in, particularly training. I believed the talk that this organisation wants the best for its people. After giving for 6 years I had nothing of value to show for it. I hadn’t been promoted, I gained no extra benefits or structured development towards anything. Many of you might ask why I stayed so long. Towards the end I went part time to undertake and MSc in HR. I was a terrible employee who wasn’t fit to do the role. Performance management was brought in to try and manage me out. All those HR processes were being brought in to silence me.
The organisation and its managers had ground me down to nothing. They had taken every last drop I was willing to give.
I’m in a new role with a new perspective. I’ve stepped back a bit from a career to find what makes me happy in general. I think it’s having a positive effect on both.
Every organisation will say its people are the most important part, but none will say they will do whatever they can to exploit those people. HR is exploitation. This may be a cynical view of someone who works with people. We reduce costs and manage out low productivity and in many instances become the voice of the organisation. Strategy meetings are held to see how much can be made on how little. People work longer hours for less money, less benefits. There are less growth opportunities as an organisation is flattened. “You’re only 3 roles to the top but the experiences and skills necessary are just as far apart as before.”
And we won’t give you the tools to do it.
There are issues.
1.There is talk of the war for talent. That many skilled roles are being lost with the current retiring generation. We have so many applicants but not any good ones. Recruiters sift through thousands of applications which don’t meet the criteria of exact experience.
2.Engagement levels are low across the board. These employees cost money let’s get them out.
3.Stress is a major issue for many employees now. With related costs.
4. The youngest generation cannot find work and will create an even bigger skills gap.
There are ways to fix it.
1. Give more to your current employees. More development, more compensation and more roles to develop towards.
2. Have more headcount in general and spread the workload.
3. Loosen recruitment requirements to allow people to train into roles rather than be ready instantly.
I know these are all expensive but they might help some common issues in the workplace today.
Maybe more businesses should follow business 101. You’ve got to spend money to make money