When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit
Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today, Author: Ilana Gershon.
By Ilana Gershon – Saying that ‘the market is the best way to organize or determine value’ overlooks many sorts of life dilemmas.
Inspired by the Nobel Prize-winner Gary Becke in adopting the market idiom, business writers began to talk about how people need to think about investing in themselves, and viewing themselves as an asset whose value only the market could effectively determine. Over time, a whole body of literature emerged advocating that people should view themselves as a business – a bundle of skills, assets, qualities, experiences and relationships to be managed and continually enhanced.
Not so long ago, business people thought that companies provided a wide variety of benefits to a large number of constituents – to upper management, to employees, to the local community, as well as to shareholders. Many of these benefits were long-term.
But as market value overtook other measures of a company’s value, maximising the short-term interests of shareholders began to override other concerns, other relationships. Quarterly earnings reports and stock prices became even more important, the sole measures of success.
How companies treated employees changed, and has not changed back.
In general, to keep stock prices high, companies not only have to pay their employees as little as possible, they must also have as temporary a workforce as their particular business can allow. The more expendable the workforce, the easier it is to expand and contract in response to short-term demands. These are market and shareholder metrics. Their dominance diminished commitment to employees, and all other commitments but to shareholders. more> https://goo.gl/vAoBxe