Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Mad Stacks, Yo
Want to make a ton of cash and be the darling of the corporate world?
Write a book or an article about why employees don't want anything tangible, money for instance, and would prefer soft compensation, like greater freedom or room for personal "growth".
Last week, Inc. magazine published a piece by corporate apologist Geoffrey James entitled "10 Things Employees Want More Than A Raise." I'm sure the article was clipped by HR professionals throughout the land.
Mr. James is a standing member of the Society of American Business Editors and has had work published in the NY Times, so I don't want to be disrespectful.
But, FUCK YOU, Geoffrey James.
You could have used a good editor before Inc. ran your recent article.
Because, let's be honest, there aren't 10 Things Employees Want More Than A Raise.
There aren't 5 Things.
There aren't 3 Things.
In fact, and I'm speaking anecdotally and on behalf of ALL labor, there isn't ANY thing employees want more than a raise.
What he, and corporate anthropologists of his ilk, fail to understand is we go to work to get paid.
We don't put on starched clothing, sit on the 405 and give up 10 hours of our daily 24 because we want to. We do it for the money. So that we have food, clothing and shelter. And with a little luck, enough entertainment to make us forget all the mismanagement, office politics and corporate bullshit we're forced to endure.
We're not interested in company pride. Or free bagels. Or false camaraderie or respect. We want money. And we want more of it.
How do I know this is true?
Put the wingtip shoe on the other foot.
Imagine a C-suite executive coming up for his or her performance review and being told, "We're not giving out raises or bonuses this year. But we can offer you a wide selection of morale-building T-shirts. Or, if you'd like to take some adult education classes at the Learning Annex, the company will be happy to pay for it."
Here's the other thing. Companies and HR people who buy into this line of horse hockey aren't doing themselves any favors.
You see, in the real world, the world of free market practices, companies that pay well, attract better talent. Better talent makes a better product or delivers a better service. Companies that put out better quality, make better profits.
I may not have an MBA or even a sophisticated knowledge of management, but you show me a company that doesn't give out raises and I'll show you a labor pool of disgruntled employees feverishly working the linkedin connections.
And going home with as many post-it notes and moleskin notepads they can stuff in their backpacks.