It is reality that bloggers, coaches, academics, and other gurus write about how to engage the workforce, build cultures, develop leaders, motivate, and increase retention; companies pay substantial amounts to coaches and consultants to develop and implement programs; management agonizes on how to increase productivity through better use of its human resources.
It is reality that many companies are moving to “just in time” workforces; using temps and contractors at all levels with no health insurance, no vacation, no benefits—hire when you need them and dump when the project is done.
Business Week offers a comprehensive overview of this trend in a cover story entitled The Disposable Worker.
The forecast for the next five to 10 years: more of the same, with paltry pay gains, worsening working conditions, and little job security. Right on up to the C-suite, more jobs will be freelance and temporary, and even seemingly permanent positions will be at greater risk.
Obviously, there are people, especially at more senior levels, who have no problem with this approach; they relish the movement, change and challenge.
But they are the minority.
Everything described in the first paragraph is geared for companies that actually hire their workforce.
Typically, it’s a different set of experts who advise companies on outsourcing and temp workforces.
I ask you:
- What will motivate workers to contribute at the level needed in today’s competitive global enviornment when they have nothing vested in the company?
- Why should people who may not be there tomorrow put forth the initiative that underlays all leadership today?
- How do you engage people when they have no idea how long they’ll be around?
In short, how do you get people to care when they know without a doubt that the company doesn’t care about them?
Image credit: anoldent on flickr