Diminished Expectations

Image: Bob RosnerIn my last blog I wrote about the huge profits that corporations made during the third quarter of 2010. $1.695 trillion, give or take a few bucks. Okay, I whined a bit about corporations hoarding this money and not giving our economy a chance to build back its consumer marketplace by hiring new employees.

Here is an interesting survey outlining the curious place where we’ve all ended up as the recession drags on and on (I know that economists are convinced that the recession is over, but with an official 9.8% unemployment rate, and an unofficial one approaching 20%, I beg to disagree with them).

HR Solutions, recently surveyed 30,000 employees, and their results put an interesting spin on where workers are at today in trying to respond to tough times. The number one employee request, according to their survey, a higher salary. Okay, that was to be expected.

But some of the other comments that were at the top of the list might surprise you.

Employees are pleased with their coworkers.
Employees like the atmosphere of their organization.
Employees are pleased with flexible work hours.

Compare this to 2006, the last time the company surveyed workers. Back then some of the top comments were, “workloads are too heavy” and “departments are understaffed.” Apparently we have accepted a new reality of the workplace. That’s its going to be leaner, meaner and we should all be grateful to even have a job.

Okay, asking for a raise did make the cut. But it’s stunning how much workers have just decided that any job is better than no job and are putting up with huge sacrifices.

I know what you’re thinking. Duh. So what is new here?

In a remarkably short period of time we’ve gone from a workplace where talent had clout to one where talent is scared to speak up.

Enjoy your profits corporate America. Because at the same time I’ve seen studies that talk about huge numbers of workers who are going to start looking for a job as soon as the economy picks up. In other words, when it comes to surveys like this one, what people say is often less interesting in what they don’t say.

About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.