Monday, October 24, 2005
Declining Work Ethic
Of all the things that seem to be hurting us in an era of globalization, a declining work ethic would seem to be near the top. If you look at productivity figures for U.S. workers, you might not immediately suspect a declining work ethic. But if you encounter a spectrum of U.S. workers, or even U.S. college students, it is hard to miss the decline.
Any thoughts as to what is behind this? Where does the sense of entitlement come from, that people think they should have well-paid employment, license to be rude to customers, break time whenever they want it, and not have to work hard? Oh, I grant some of it comes from the top - you can't see a Bernie Ebbers or Dennis Kozlowski-type CEO at the top of your company's organizational chart and be inspired to work hard for your company... quite the opposite. But perhaps that's less of an explanation, and more of a manifestation of how lousy work ethic and and an exaggerated sense of both self-importance and entitlement reach all levels of employment, public and private. (Chicken v. Egg - did the phenomenon start at the bottom or at the top?)
Under a "CEO President", this phenomenon can seemingly put the nation at risk.