In an age where job loyalty seems to be declining each year, you’d have thought that the upper management of any and all corporations have a solution to keep their employees at least a little bit happier in their current position. That what you’d have thought, but in reality things are a little bit different.
You may have found yourself disgruntled at the current situation you find yourself in at your workplace. You know, the longing for the weekend, the increasing desire to punch your boss, fantasizing about being Synyster Gates and rocking it out with your band mates around the world, stuff like that. And in comes an all-site meeting, a meeting in which everyone gathers in the same place to hear about how in fact things are brilliant and wonderful and you know…unicorn like.
The speeches are generally the same, much to the point where you can start making a mental list of how many times you’ve heard certain lines, like an insane bastard from an abridged Youtube series you may or may not watch. The people in charge start talking about the current situation, describing the projects as either emerging and promising or established and very good, completely avoiding to mention that people like yourself are feeling an increasing desire to punch their boss.
And it inevitably leads to the higher-ups mentioning that the profits are good, amazing, unheard of and so on. Now I’ve heard this speech so many times that every time someone mentions the word profit I instinctively roll my eyes. And I get that it’s a business and in the end it needs to make as much money as possible but…employees don’t care about profits.
Why don’t employees care about profits? There are probably dozens of individual reasons but they all basically boil down to the following conceptual ideas:
1. It is not their company or project
I actually went into an argument with a project manager regarding this idea, when I blatantly told him that it is not my project (I was angry because the end of the project was delayed and I wanted to get out of it as soon as possible). His response was that it was everyone’s project and I actually respected and liked the guy enough to not continue the argument because it was getting nowhere fast.
It should be pretty clear to everyone involved that unless you are self-employed, none of the things you’re working at are truly yours. Sure, you are responsible for your work and should always be a professional when working, but your average employee will not care beyond that, and managers shouldn’t expect them to because, in the end, the employees DO NOT OWN the company or project they’re working on
2. They don’t reap the benefits of the increased profits
Yeah, I would care more about increasing profits if I actually got a raise as a result of them. But since I usually don’t and the only people reaping the benefits of increasing profits are the managers, them telling me they’re on the rise serves only as reassurance that the company is not shutting down, which…you know, I once again care little about. I mean yeah, job security is important and all, but me hating the workplace only to learn that the company is going well despite the shitty projects serves only as bittersweet irony.
3. Increasing profits provides no incentive to increase employee loyalty or solve actual problems
If the profits are going up, then the chances of the poor souls always working weekends to stop working weekends become even smaller. Why would managers want to fix something that apparently isn’t broken? Sure, those employees could leave and they usually do, but if the profits don’t go down as a result, then no one is going to lift a finger to fix these problems. Which is a darn shame and one of the reasons good companies become bad working places in time.
So yeah, your average employee doesn’t care about profits and never will. Sure, there are some people so dedicated to a company that they might be devastated if the numbers aren’t high enough, but they are a minority and a very small one at that, if you exclude managers of course. I guess admitting that there might be flaws in the perfect environment described in every job description isn’t constructive.