Beyoncé and Elon Musk sent the wrong message to workers, experts say

“The lyrics to Beyoncé’s ‘Break my Soul’ fell short of what workers need to hear right now,” said Alex Zekoff, CEO and co-founder of Thoughtful Automation. “Telling people to ‘release your anger, release your mind, release your work, release your time’ is based on the idea that people have a better chance in front of them than they have now,” Zekoff said . “With many leaders and economists predicting we’re headed for a recession, incentivizing employees to quit seems deaf, signaling that the bubble is about to burst.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently sent the opposite message, announcing that everyone at the company must be in the office at least 40 hours a week. “To be very clear,” he said, it couldn’t be “some remote pseudo-office,” but where their actual colleagues were. “If you don’t show up,” he demanded, “we will assume you have resigned.”

The world’s richest man is also faltering, according to Steve Black, chief strategy officer at Topia, a human resources technology company focused on the global flow of talent. “The all-in-office policy is a dangerous talent strategy implemented by other companies. Elon Musk’s requirement for employees to return to the office full-time is a dangerous talent strategy because it could cause many employees to leave for more flexible work,” he said. Blake said. “In our recent Adapt survey, we found that 65% of employees who were forced to return to a full-time office said they were more likely to look for a new job; 46% were attracted to jobs that focus on employee well-being, and 42% wanted to be able to Work from home anytime, anywhere. at the lowest limit Work 40 hours a week. “

Some might say Beyoncé’s lyrics are being read too much – it’s just music. Or Musk has the right to run his business as he sees fit. But the general consensus among experts is that both Beyoncé and Musk have larger platforms than the average corporate leader, which comes with greater responsibility, and in this case, they are both sending the wrong message. Empire builders can easily make decisions that defy the rules because they have the means to do so. But ordinary workers don’t have that advantage.

Experts like Black and Zekoff argue that employees must consider themselves and their personal work situations before jumping jobs or staying there. “While Beyoncé’s intentions were good, she seems to have misidentified the root cause of the problem,” Zekoff said. “There are soul-destroying jobs; our goal should be to free employees from mundane tasks and find ways to get employees excited about what they’re doing, rather than fantasizing about changing careers.”

Zekoff further reminds us that since the last downturn in 2009, employees have enjoyed a favorable environment stimulated by low interest rates, which has led to more jobs, higher wages and better benefits. As interest rates rise, there is a focus on profit and efficiency. This is a market focused on EBITDA rather than revenue growth, which could lead to job losses, wage stagnation and benefit cuts. Essentially, it has shifted from an employee’s market to an employer’s market.

“Whether it’s starting a new hobby, job, or company, the change shouldn’t stem from anger, hatred, or bad blood against a previous employer or position,” Zekoff said. “Creating anything from scratch takes hard work and dedication, and much of this work exceeds the standard 9-5 hour workday. It takes blood, sweat, tears and undying passion. Power comes from being in The ability to use courage, emotional intelligence and discipline to thrive in any environment, in any working condition. As the Chinese proverb goes, it is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in war.”

Employee burnout is everywhere, but it won’t go away with the appeal of billionaire Beyoncé or the iron-fisted demands of the world’s richest man. “Employers need to recalibrate and make decisions that really lighten the burden on their employees,” Zekov concluded. “Employees need to take responsibility for their careers and speak out – greener ranches aren’t always ahead.”

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