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Hard work = fair treatment

hard work fair treatment graphic

Here’s a curious statistic: 2.5 billion of the world’s workforce would work harder if their employers treated them better, according to a study by Qualtrics XM Institute. 2.5 Billion Employees Aren’t Trying Their Hardest | XM Institute

That means that 5 out of every 16 human beings on this planet would work harder if they were treated better.

richard smoley produce blueprints

At the top of the list: 93 percent of Chinese workers and 90 percent of Indian workers said they would work harder if their primary employer treated them better.

At the bottom: only 29 percent of German workers and 33 percent of Dutch workers felt that way.

The United States came off pretty well: only 40 percent said they would work harder if they were better treated.

Still, that’s 4 of 10. The study also said that 42 percent of U.S. workers agreed with the statement “My primary employer needs to do a better job of listening to my feedback.”

Of those U.S. employees who said that their employers needed to do a better job of listening to them, 56 percent said that they were likely to look for a new job in the next six months. (Of course, “being likely to” and actually doing are two quite different things.)

All this puts the much-lamented phenomenon of “quiet quitting” into perspective.

Actually, American management ranks high on a worldwide basis. One study by the World Management Survey, reported by The Economist, gave it a 3.5 ranking on a scale of 1 to 5: the top among nations surveyed. Still, the bandwidth was pretty narrow: Italy, at the bottom, scored 2.95.

Fast Company gives a snapshot of seven reasons good employees leave (as opposed to merely slacking off): 7 mistakes that make good workers to quit (

• Lack of appreciation

• Unfairness and favoritism

• Allowing no autonomy over one’s work

• Showing no interest in employees’ passions

• One-size-fits-all staff appreciation

• A lack of meaning

• A lack of fun and play

As I pointed out in a recent column, What cardboard demand says about online grocery – Produce Blue Book current trends do not necessarily continue. But a shortage of competent workers in American business is not likely to go away any time soon.

The reason? Demographics. More people are retiring than are entering the workforce. This is almost certain to continue for the foreseeable future. After all, the oldest baby boomer (born in 1946) is now 76. The youngest (born in 1964) is 58. That demographic bulge is passing through retirement on its way to the grave.

All this looks like good news for job seekers. Really bad news for nasty and rude employers.

Anyone who is paying someone else to do a job needs to bear these facts in mind, out of self-interest if not out of basic decency.


Richard Smoley, contributing editor for Blue Book Services, Inc., has more than 40 years of experience in magazine writing and editing, and is the former managing editor of California Farmer magazine. A graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities, he has published 12 books.