Who Cares About Employment and Why Inclusion?

Have you ever worked a job? Do you have a career? Do you know the difference? Have you ever been used as a means to an end? Would you know you were being used if asked to evaluate your current employment situation? Would you quit your job on principle? Do you consider employment a luxury? Do you believe you have rights in the workplace? Does the employer have an obligation to respect you? Should employers intentionally invest in employees? Should the employee expect work life balance? Who holds the employer accountable for creating unhealthy working conditions? Should happiness be a factor in your employment choices?

These are all questions that on some level we ask, or should ask, on a daily basis. We spend, on average (assuming you are only working 40 hours a week), 24 percent of our year at work. If you are middle to low income and can afford to pay all of your bills, lets increase that by at least 15 percent to account for the number of hours at slightly above the federal minimum wage you would need to work to make those conditions possible and lone behold you spend a substantial amount of your hours awake, working.  That said, community outcomes are affected by workplace satisfaction (let’s assume that our working definition of workplace satisfaction is contentment with the position, environment and supervision) and if individuals are not satisfied in the workplace this inevitably affects the rest of their existence…or at least this is my hypothesis. Or common sense. Or both.

My career interests have always in some way been reflective of my passion for improving the outcomes of people. As I have progressed in my career and held various positions in the workplace, I have settled on a few key conclusions. First, employees no longer possess a sense of ownership of their workplace.  Employees have become passive actors in their working environment shifting their sense of control and changing the nature of accountability in the workplace. Secondly, employers are increasingly empowered (whether directly or indirectly) to take advantage of their personnel.  This seems very harsh and mind you what this means is relative to the workplace in which we are applying this concept but across the board there has been a noticeable addiction to increasing productivity without accounting for the workforce that is being forced to adjust.  There is less commitment to companies, with individuals changing jobs every 5 years on average and fewer companies strategically investing (via incentives and learning opportunities) in their personnel (there are examples of companies making intentional investments and we will cover a few of them in delving deeper through this website).

We won’t bother talking about succession planning, I digress.

Thirdly, in a world where our work often melts all over our life, there is no flexibility. This is perhaps the most detrimental of trends. We are the most technologically advanced society yet very few companies have reimagined the workplace to account for the changing desires of the workforce from which they are pulling talent.

And that’s the key element we must remember: talent. The workforce has not become less talented, the workforce has become more diverse. Increased diversity means that the hiring practices and the workplace dynamics must change to nurture inclusion. This is why inclusion matters. As the workforce becomes increasingly diverse culturally, intellectually, professionally among so many other elements impacting the pool of talent, our NGO’s, businesses, government agencies must adjust their policies, procedures — quite frankly their existence, accordingly.

This site will explore the complexities of working faced by the employee. We will look at employers doing innovative things affecting the experience of the employee but we will primarily target the ways in which the employees are affected by work environments, hiring policies, inclusion techniques or lack thereof while also working to flesh out what work place satisfaction means for various groups of people in the workforce.

I will post about personal experiences and observations but I will also interview and solicit participation from individuals in the community to ensure that this is an informed investigation and one the delves deep into one of the most crucial issues impacting the outcomes of our respective communities.