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Are we losing respect in the workplace?

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

Are we losing respect in the workplace?

I had a really interesting discussion with my iDawn this morning, which forked out of a discussion about the Chinese business coulture and the immense levels of respect I witnessed during my travels there.

The conversation focused around how the work environment has changed during our working lives, bearing in mind we are both almost 40 so have only really 20ish working years experience compared to those who are much more travelled than us. We were talking about how the attitude towards bosses and business owners have changed over the years, to the point where it is becoming almost intolerable to employ young school leavers.

Respect My Authority

Children no longer respect authority

I do question our current education system and the new softly softly, in fashion, way in which education and discipline is delivered in the school environment. I also question the way in which Government interfere with parenting, children these days are brought up with no respect for authority and that spills over to the way they react to their teachers, to the law enforcement, to the Government, and in turn towards their employers and even our Monarchy. Their parents must have been so proud of them. The thing is that their parents probably didn’t know, or if they did then didn’t really care.

As an employer I find it very difficult to justify employing a school leaver because their attitude nearly always is disappointing. I don’t owe these young people anything, and it is their role to justify why I, the employer, should give them a job. If I give them a job then I expect them to do their job to the best of their abilities in return for the good money I will be paying them. If they do that then I will support a career path for them and support their development in any way I can. The biggest problem with the output of our education system is that the majority of these children have been brought up expecting. Expecting a job with minimal effort and maximum pay. Expecting that they are the best on offer, expecting that everyone else owes them a debt for something or another. The fact of the matter is no-one owes these kids anything, life isn’t handed to you on a plate, you got to work for it. Once you get that then you can then get on with making a good life for yourself.

Those who work for me know how much I invest into my staff, and I am thankful to say that I have the respect of my staff, they have my respect, and we have a great working environment. I do also employ a couple of younger people who I was lucky enough to find, but I found that they are unfortunately very hard to find. If I am honest my nature does perhaps create a more relaxed than perhaps it should be working environment, so perhaps I should be slightly more distant, but nonetheless respect needs to be earnt, or does it? Would it not be better to start with full respect for everyone around you, whoever they are. If their actions result in you losing that respect for them then that is different, but if everyone showed a little respect in both directions, for authority and subordinate, then perhaps things would be a bit better in this world.

So who do I blame for this mess? Typically I blame the parents who are no longer able to parent due to Government interference, teachers who cannot teach because of too much red tape and repercussions from both these parents and Government interference. Children should be taught that as they grow up, it should start at home with proper parenting and then teachers should stop faffing around all cuddly trying to be mates with the kids, they are there to teach and discipline. The Government should allow them to do that as it’s us employers who have to try and do something with these expectent children that are churned out of our education system, so please at least give us a fighting chance then perhaps they’ll get some jobs.

Comments (2)

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard Osborne. Richard Osborne said: BLOG: Are we losing respect in the workplace? http://bit.ly/egmayd […]

  2. Lee Mace
    Jan 6, 2011

    Absolutely spot on. Having interviewed a lot of young people (<21) over the last few years I can only mirror your take on it. Yes there have been a few that have been taken on and done well but those are definately the exception rather than the norm.

    On the other hand, there seems to be (certainly through my cynical-tinted glasses) a propensity of people of all ages in work that want paying good money to just turn up and feel that if they actually contribute more than the bare minimum effort it's a bonus.