Friday, July 22, 2011

Hiring Convicts and Morons

I'm reading a fascinating book from 1921 on "Personnel Relations." It's a 200+ page manual or perhaps textbook applying "scientific principles" to the personnel industry.

In a chapter on Interviewing, it talks about how every adult should be capable of being hired and the focus should be on finding the proper "adjustment" between the worker and his job. The text literally states that the only reason to reject an applicant would be if the worker would be injured by the job or would injure his fellow-employees and/or society.

It goes on to say,
"Establishments that a few years ago were hiring a small percentage of applicants and yet had a turnover of 400 and 500 percent now boast of their ability to use such exceptional classes as discharged convicts, morons, disabled soldiers, and industrial cripples, with a lower turnover and improved production."
Work really has changed over the years, hasn't it? In the 1920s there was evidently and unlimited number of unskilled jobs that needed to be filled. For "personnel professionals" of the day to be even suggesting that there was a job for every person who applied is incredible.

Wouldn't it be nice if in today's world that the job openings across the globe were exactly equal in number and requirements to the skills and qualities of all the people who are unemployed and job seeking?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Equal Pay for Less Work? No Thank-You

I have just read one of most demeaning things toward women since Larry Summers ventured to open his mouth about girls and boys.

In a cleverly written piece which purports to be even keeled toward both men and women, Professor Roy F. Baumeister, Professor of Social Psychology at Florida State University, states the following:

Likewise, I mentioned the salary difference, but it may have less to do with ability than motivation. High salaries come from working super-long hours. Workaholics are mostly men. (There are some women, just not as many as men.) One study counted that over 80% of the people who work 50-hour weeks are men.

That means that if we want to achieve our ideal of equal salaries for men and women, we may need to legislate the principle of equal pay for less work. Personally, I support that principle. But I recognize it’s a hard sell.

Wow. Equal pay for less work....because our poor little women just aren't motivated to work enough to earn it the way men do?

How about we start with equal pay for equal work, Professor?

According to a 2009 article in Psych Central, "The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites women working 41 to 44 hours per week earn 84.6% of what men working similar hours earn. It gets worse as women work longer hours — women working more than 60 hours per week earn only 78.3% of what men in the same time category earn."

Although I don't believe it to be true, let's suppose men are at the workplace more hours than women. Could it have anything to do with the fact that women continue to have the greatest burden of caring for children, putting food on the table and keeping a house relatively free from germs, dirty socks and fast food plates?

Continuing with the (likely erroneous) supposition that men are at the office more hours than women - Is there anyone who doubts that women are accomplishing the same amount (or more) work per week than their peer men?

Women less motivated? I don't think so.

I am not a "feminist" nor a "man-hater" but my hat has always been off to the many superwomen I encounter year after year. These super women work their tails off at work putting in long hours and performing random miracles. At the same time, they are often raising multiple children from infancy though teenhood. These superwomen do not need to be handed equal pay for less work. They are doing the same work for less pay and usually, I might add, with less complaint.

Please, Professor, don't try to do us any favors. We don't want your condescending hand-out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When 1950s Home Technology Enters the Workplace

I came across this article from the 1950s.

"What started as a passing technology fad has taken hold. The younger generation in particular is taking to it very quickly. "My children spend all day on it. In fact the teenagers have given up everything else to use this technology."

It all started with Uncle Miltie. After the debut of Milton Berle's show, sales of television sets doubled to 2,000,000 in 1949. Today, kids want and expect to be entertained.

What does this mean for the workplace?

We need to keep up with the needs of the changing world. Some day every household will have 2 or 3 television boxes. We can even expect advances like television programs in color. Clearly the workplace needs to keep up. Entertainment through the use of technology is becoming an important communication avenue for our younger workers.

"A happy, unstressed workforce is going to be more productive. We started by having television in the lunch room but today we are providing TVs for every employees desk. Sure,there is a risk but think about the benefits?"

Executives take note. Can you afford to ignore the needs of your next generation of workers?"