Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Skewed View! #equality #promotion #bureaucracy

Why is it, as a society, we value our footballers more than we value our educators, our health professionals, many in the legal profession and our politicians. What makes a footballer worth a high six or seven figure income when we pay our Prime Minister less than half of that? Yes, a footballer at the top of his game has inordinate skill that perhaps not many others possess. And yes, you may also say that politicians are all rogues and do not deserve more. But, will the skills of the footballer make an Earth shattering difference to the life expectancy of world populations, to the standard of living for those living in sub-standard accommodation, or to how we live our lives? I know you will all say that footballers have only a short time in which to capitalize of the skills and fitness that sees them at the top of their game. I still cannot see why this means they are worth up to twenty times the income of the average Joe, or worth double what we pay the person we trusted in the democratic process to oversee the running of our country.

Not to be seen to picking on our sports people, there are many anomalies that have developed in our workplaces and society in general in the last couple of decades. Once upon a time if you worked hard, gave your all in an honest day's work, you could work your way from the bottom to the top. Many of the great companies of the world have their very foundations in this work ethos. Those at the top would never have dared to make judgement on those ranked lower than them without first having experienced their position in the business. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Those at the top today are generally the self promoters! These executive elite are the big talkers, Mr or Ms Popular, who never have a moment of self doubt. Are they good at their job? Generally not! However, this does not even occur to them. After all, they have all the worker bees running around making them look good.These  worker bees are those that work hard, have all the knowledge, and take all the falls. To add insult to injury the Queen Bees have somehow managed to acquire these massive salaries, lerks and perks, and a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. I just love the way the business model is reliant on this voracious appetite for money at any cost. Oh and of course, the executive salary is tied to the bonuses that are reward for the successful posting of a massive profit.

These over paid self promoters run everything today from businesses, to schools, to hospitals, to universities, to banks.  Their success is gauged in profitability. It is no coincidence that with the business model applied to hospitals and schools, that we have seen an exponential growth in administrative staff. With this, has come a pruning of staff at the coal face. The very service that the institution is supposed to provide is in jeopardy due to budgetary constraints but, those in the administration continue to build their ivory towers unabated. Also sadly, many of those in administration have no idea, or experience, of the situation or processes which they oversee. This means many of their decisions are ill founded, wasteful, and downright ridiculous. However, so long as the budget has been met and a profit returned, who cares?

In business, I do not deny it is imperative that companies run at a profit. But, why is it that the one at the top is paid $3,000,000 in some instances and when it comes to cost cutting they ruthlessly prune at the bottom sacking those on a mere pittance. How come none of the executives simply prune a huge chunk off their massive income, and keep on some of the workers at the bottom. You may say this is simply business working in a free enterprise market, but somehow it has all got out of proportion. I fiercely believe that each and every one of us should work to make our way in life. But, with work should also come opportunity. Opportunity that is reward for working hard, not opportunity that is a reward for being a totally incompetent self promoter! How often do we see someone who is totally incompetent promoted and rewarded because no-one quite knows what to do with them? All too often, and maybe this is why the world is in such a mess at the moment. We have those that believe the world owes them a living, and are social security recipients for generation after generation. And we have those self promoters at the top collecting these indecently large salaries, swanning around living the life they believe they are entitled to. 

In the middle we have the workers who are the ones who actually make everything happen. They are generally the ones who cop the cutbacks, who work longer and longer hours for no extra pay, who go the extra mile without being asked. What is in this for them? Gratitude that they actually have a job! Do not get me wrong! I have no problem with people giving their best. But in every workplace there are those who are the big talkers who do not give their best and they are the ones who will rise up the food chain at the expense of the others and the cycle of incompetence will continue. This model will continue until we go back to rewarding hard work and diligence. Then we will have executives who appreciate what it is like to be the storeman, the salesman, the teacher or the nurse. Then we will have executives who have empathy for those at the bottom. The Queen Bee will truly be a worker bee that has been chosen for the right reasons and not a drone that is promoted on self recommendation. 

Until next time, keep working!

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