Archive for December, 2011

Where Has Trust, Accountability, Commitment Gone?

December 29, 2011

In talking with small business leaders about recent trends, one striking comment permeated many discussions.
“Where has the idea of trust, accountability and commitment gone?”
In years past, when a person gave his or her word the deal was done.
People also accepted responsibility for their actions.
Getting the job done and being committed to work were important parts of an employee’s DNA.
Particularly in smaller shops, these words meant something, in fact most everything.
Today it seems that not even a signed contract is proof against individuals and companies reneging on agreements.
Many small business leaders blamed the unrelenting pressure of the continuing down cycle as contributing to this lack of obligation.
Others say it is the training younger people are receiving at home, in school and in the workplace.
Still others said they saw these changes seeping into older workers angered by the disappearance of anticipated pensions.
But loyalty goes both ways and many small businesses employees say they feel betrayed by their companies and their management.
There is no doubt that many smaller companies have used the downturn to upgrade their workforce.
Often, they are able to obtain higher quality workers at lower salaries.
Almost two out of five respondents to one of our (Information Strategies, Inc.) surveys said they had dropped employees in favor of newer, more capable and less expensive hires.
Also, two in five said they had been a victim of some employee theft in 2011, a 25% rise from the 2010 report.
Another aspect of this question is the rise in contract breakage on the part of companies. This trend was not limited to just large corporations to small but even small-to-small business transactions.
The memories of the 1930s depression are rapidly fading replaced by this decade’s downturn.
In both eras, some core values were lost.
Let’s hope this is not a permanent loss but one which will rebound as the economy soars.