Are the employees or the employers the problem?

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Tracy - posted on 09/19/2012

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I think young employees know that they can't count on a job or employer to be there in the long run. They know that, if given the opportunity to benefit the higher ups' incomes - even if it doesn't necessarily benefit the company, the company will choose padding certain wallets over doing even decent human things - like offering sick leave. Most companies are that way these days. So, I think young employees know that they are not valued no matter HOW much they work and contribute. Why would you care to work hard when you know you are a step out the door no matter what you do anyway? Just as they would get rid of you, you also know a better opportunity might be around the corner. Basically, there is no loyalty anymore on either side because employees know they won't be appreciated for their contributions. If I work super hard, come up with innovative ideas that saves the company millions, put in 20 years, etc... What will me (and my family) see? No (or a tiny) bonus for the millions saved, maybe. Annual raises of CENTS - IF the company doesn't freeze them each year for all employees while the uppers take massive bonuses. Then, as I near retirement, I can look forward to walking on egg shells to NOT get fired so they don't have to pay retirement (IF they offer one). I also know that I could be replaced by someone 1/3 of my age for 1/2 my salary. Then employers complain that there are no good employees out there. I wonder why? I am a good, hard worker but have had management dangled in front me of so many times...but the offer never actually comes. It's almost there..can't quite reach it...just one more thing to accomplish before the offer is OFFICIALLY made (behind closed doors I'm told I have it, hands down). Always just one more thing standing between me and a raise...me and being management...company after company after company. I am 33 now with a bachelor degree and can't find work at all, even as a waitress, because they don't want to pay a high salary and lower jobs know I'll leave if I get a better offer.

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Janice - posted on 09/24/2012

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I am 29, I'm not sure which generation that puts me in but I was taught that if you work hard AND go to college you will easily get a good job and be able to make a decent living. I have learned over my 13 years in and out of the employment world that this has become not true.



So 60+ years ago most families were 1 income and had 3 or more children. Most of these men had no issue with earning enough to buy a home and put food on the table for their family of 5 or more. Basically if one person in the family worked hard the basics of shelter, food and clothing were attainable with out government assistance. And typically a home phone and 1 television were common. And if you were 1 of the less than 10% of the population that had a college degree you were doing much better. Back then the CEOs of companies made good money but not at the expense of their workers, they were paid enough to support their families and often received benefits like health insurance and a retirement.

I really dont feel the same is true now. Most families have only 2 children and there is no way they could survive on the hourly wages of one income of a non-degree job. Now that insurance premiums have sky rocketed most companies barely pay a portion leaving families to choose between paying the mortgage or buying health insurance. Also companies very rarely offer a retirement so people must put a good chunk away each week if they want to be able to not work when they are old. The average number of people with degrees has more than tripled but now there are triple the amount of people with education thinking they can walk into decent jobs because they put in the hard work by going to school. Yet, they are finding that a college degree doesn't mean much anymore unless you have picked the right industry which the colleges will trick into thinking all fields have jobs, which is a bold faced lie.



So I think the fact that employers are giving less makes the younger generations feel jaded. I think that many young people are willing to work hard but not for nothing. When I worked in daycare I was one of the highest paid teachers due to my associates degree and time there. I regularly brought home work even though I was paid hourly. I made 20K a year. If I had child then I would not have received any discount on care. The insurance premium was 60$ a week per person and that not including any copays. Yet the owner who was never available, and it was hard to pinpoint her job at all since the directors of each of the 4 centers did all the work for 26K a year drove an expensive car and owned a nice home in a very expensive area. It was hard to not want to slack off when you knew that your hard work would only benefit the owner.



Sadly I do know that some from my generation and younger have zero work ethic. I know a few people who think that a good, easy job is just owed to them. These people piss me off! They make the rest of those in our age group look bad. My husband knows people who have found ways to get govt assistance and have nicer things than we do. He feels frustrated that he is working his butt off and we dont have extra money to spare like those doing nothing. Sometimes he gets mad and says he might as well quit and just live off the system since we will be in the same place financially but he will have time to be with our kids. Of course this is not okay and the wrong attitude, but it shows how some young people may start out with the intent to work hard but their wok ethics change when they realize that their efforts are not being rewarded.



So its both.

Sally - posted on 09/24/2012

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It's a cultural problem.

The last few generations have been trained since birth that if they want it, it's a "need" and if they need it, someone else should provide it. No one is allowed to discipline them; if they don't feel like doing it, it's "too hard", etc. Then they get into the real world and they get a job. A client doesn't care what you need. You exist to fulfill their needs. Some one who's had everything handed to them and told "you're the best" for just showing up simply can't understand that.

On the other side the "older generation" spent their formative years being trained that you had to "respect" older people whether they deserved it or not just because they were older. They've been waiting their while lives to get that respect for themselves and when it doesn't show up (because we now only respect people who actually earn it) they have just as big a tantrum.

Bosses are stuck between these two groups trying to convince someone, anyone to actually do the work because with the economy this badly in the toilet, they'd have trouble keeping the shareholders happy even if their employees were bothering to keep the clients happy. People with their backs to the wall fighting for their very survival are rarely nice to the underlings and said underlings use that as an excuse to be even less productive.

The only way to fix it is to reward those who work and let those who don't starve. In our current political climate that isn't going to happen. We're probably going to have to wait until it all falls down and start over. I'm not looking forward to that.

Denikka - posted on 09/19/2012

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I haven't really been inside a workplace. I went from highschool to being a stay at home mom.

My hubby has always had a pretty good time with his employers, and except for his first job (at a gas station) has benefited appropriately (in my mind) with raises and bonuses.



What I do know rather intimately though, is the mindset of the young people I went to school with. And from what I have seen, the cycle of mediocrity is started in school. Kids aren't rewarded for excelling. In many cases, they are punished for *doing too much* and *making the other kids look bad* (direct quote, to me from a teacher who marked a paper down because it exceeded what was asked).

I have seen kids who have handed in 3 short paragraph essays, obviously hastily done on the bus ride to school or in the previous class, get the same grades as those kids who have written 5 page, well thought out essays where they have shown that they have taken all the time available to do the best job possible. How is that fair? And where is the incentive to put the effort and work in when you're not going to benefit in the slightest?



Many kids I've known only worked when they needed the money. They wanted something, so they'd cover just enough shifts to get it, then blow off work the rest of the time. They\d arrive late, leave early. Basically have the same attitude about school too. They were never punished for it, never suffered for the bad decisions. They'd keep getting second (third, fourth, fifth) chances.

Now, looking at my sisters age group (she's 5 years younger than me) who are just starting to really enter the work force at 17, 18, 19 years of age, no one wants to hire them. Unless they had already gotten work experience while in highschool, generally through a family friend or family members, most of them are jobless.

My sister got lucky. She had enough connections through family friends to get consistent work and has proven herself to be a hard working employee. She now has multiple references that are excellent.

Her friends have not been so lucky. Most of them didn't work in highschool and are now still jobless. Some graduated June of 2011, some (like my sister) graduated this past June. And most are still jobless, not for lack of trying on their part. Not even the fast food places will take them. And there's no shortage of jobs either. There are always *Hiring* signs around town, or messages in the papers. And pretty close to ALL of them want experienced workers. No first timers.

How do you get a job? Get experience. How do you get experience? Get a job. How do you get a job? . . . . . .

Jennifer - posted on 09/19/2012

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Both. I remember when I was younger my dad worked for a company that treated everyone with respect. The lowest employee had the same benifits as the highest. They paid well, offered lots of paid training to move up, and the good employees were constantly getting pay raises and promotions. My dad went from a lowly night time 'grinder' to manual writer in 10 years. Then the owner retired, and his son took over. My dad quit in less than 2 years. They went to over 1/2 temp employees with no benefits. They even stopped giving out Christmas turkeys(very cheap compared to most stuff they did!) The employees use to work their fingers to the bone cause they had profit sharing bonuses every three months, when the company dropped that, production went down over a 1/4! Now that company is in a horrible cycle. They can't find workers, the workers HATE it, and what was once bragged about all over the state, is now just a disgrace to the area. People use to line up the night before applications were handed out, they'd have 400 applicants for 10 opennings. Now they have 30 to 40 opennings at all times. People leave there to work at McDonalds. Almost everyone that works there is on state aid. Would you work hard for some place like that?? I won't. When employers realize that they need to treasure their workers, things will get better.



I remember someone told me that Henry Ford would walk through his factory and personally thank his employees. That would be awesome to see now a days. I remember a time when car workers were so loyal that they'd only buy cars from their factories. Employers were so loyal that they gave great benefits, and if someone did leave, there was an exit interveiw just to see what went wrong, and can we keep you? Customers may have always been right, but bosses knew that an employee is the one that kept stock on the shelves and rang up the sales!



I do think that the young people today aren't as good as the older people were, but employers can whine all they want, if they are as smart as they claim, they could fix it!

[deleted account]

i'd definitely say it's a little of both, but i think it kind of works in a pattern. these younger employees come in and take their jobs for granted because they'd rather be off partying or doing something else and the employers of course get angry because these little brats are slacking on the job. i use to work with a bunch of still-in-high school kids who were only working there because their parents made them pay for their own gas. they hated their job but ya know, there are much worse jobs than one at a shoe store. they ought to have felt lucky that they weren't working in a factory or with fast food. but of course they didn't see it that way.



i was always proud that i worked in a shoe store. i loved my managers and most of the people i worked with, and i enjoyed my work. but most teens don't care, they just don't want to be there.



i haven't read the article but this is just how i felt about the teens who worked with me, my observations on how they acted toward their bosses and each other, which caused their bosses and more experienced co-workers to dislike them, haha.

Jurnee - posted on 09/16/2012

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I see it as a bit of both, Ive worked with people older and younger who were just plain lazy. Ive also had employers who really wanted the impossible, more work done in less hrs all while offering no benefits, no overtime, no pay raises. Sometimes you do get what you pay for. In the example shown,it seems like more of a communication problem, there was a deadlline, problems arose making the deadline change, but it wasnt communicated to the client. Which is really very unproffesional. I think people are willing to work hard, but there has to be a sense of give and take, and that hard work will be rewarded. When you see a culture at a workplace of some people coasting along doing the bare minimum,and getting the same pay, benefits etc, it really makes you not want to work as hard. I have met some young people though who are poorly prepared to work(teens and early 20's), but Im not sure this is anything new.

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