I s s u e N u m b e r F o u r
"Work hard, make the boss rich"
-graffiti on a Chippendale wall
1. What should our expectations be?
How much is my time and expertise worth in the workplace? This is the endless question for both employer and employee. It's answered in part by your work environment and the general economy. Some company structures offer more room to move than others. In a recession economy some companies have margins of operation which are so tight that many team members consider their retention of employment as far more important than the extra few dollars per week in the pocket after taxation. It is a question of honestly evaluating both my contribution and the company's attitude and financial position in realising my expectations. It is also about being realistic when setting personal goals and making decisions when to stay and when to move on.
Good question. In some of the large public companies there is considerable debate about the salary packages of Chief Executives and Directors. And this filters down in many minds through to middle sized and small companies, where the thought is that "The boss must be rich". Yet this is one of the tensions at the very heart of our current economic system. Many smaller company managers have their own assets at stake in running the company and although they look well off, a lot of them live on the edge of a huge overdraft and only a few months of trading either way to success or failure. For that risk, and for the risk of employing me, there has to be reward. Who would begrudge them that? If the boss is rich, at least they've got the money to keep me in a job.
Money in the bank account at the end of every pay period is one reward of working life and perhaps the most obvious. The more subtle things about the office are the bonds and relationships which are formed over time. Often this is a second family. Although the emphasis in today's workplace seems to be on short term loyalties, there is an intimacy and sharing which develops in the office where we spend almost as much time as we do in our homes. To some, the office becomes a place of security and predictability in a moving world of political and economic change. To participate brings personal rewards such as increasing skill level, further education and forming strong relationships, etc. There should be in the workplace the encouragement of frank discussion about the rewards both in personal, financial, short and long term.
The place for a reward structure
The complexities of corporate life have taken on a new face. Not only are there the normal trading issues to deal with. Now we have the added burden of a new tax system which will (under political pressure) be a constantly changing and intricate government demand on business time and resources.
Quotes from the professions:
"Brand identity in the mind of the consumer is half the battle for your product's sales success. Clearly defined features and benefits makes for a more reasoned and loyal product choice in the marketplace."
-Geoff Holt, Director, Leonard Communications and Marketing
-Rolf Howard, Partner, Owen Hodge Lawyers
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