This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 18, 2002

Workers Ready to Jump

Millions of workers are unhappy with their present employment. At least 30 percent, and perhaps as many as 40 percent, have already "checked out," according to at least two recent studies. They show up for work every day, but their focus is on where their next job will be. These workers have lost the passion for their work; they are just going through their daily routine., the electronic job board, reports that 72 percent of the respondents to their survey are unhappy with their employment circumstances. They are ready to move to a new opportunity as soon as someone makes them an offer. The same research showed that only 22 percent are committed to staying with their current employer.

Why are workers so unhappy? Why are they ready to leave their jobs as soon as they can find a suitable alternative?

One reason workers are unhappy is that a significant portion of the workforce became accustomed to moving from one job to another every 2-4 years. With the economic slowdown, opportunities to move have been limited. Many workers feel trapped and just want to escape. Another reason for employee dissatisfaction is the way they are treated by management. Strong leadership can send positive messages about caring about their employees. Unfortunately, too many employers lack strong leaders, so employees don't feel valued.

A significant number of large companies have taken employees for granted, working them long hours without sincere appreciation. When this happens, people feel used and abused, rather than feeling respected. Practices we might describe as "inhumane" have been all too common. For insight into examples of what's turned off thousands of employees, we encourage you to read "White Collar Sweatshop" by Jill Andresky Fraser.
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The movement has already begun. The employment market will become much more turbulent over the next few years as workers seek positions that are more congruent with their values, provide opportunities for meaningful work, and respond to desires for life-work balance. They're looking for leaders who are enlightened enough to provide visionary leadership, assertive communication, and inspiration to make a difference.

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