Ripe For Abuse: 6 In 10 Employees Willing To Go ‘Above And Beyond’


flickr: ark

Okay, managers, recruiters, and human resources pros: this is a post specifically for you. Jobseekers, go read something else. We’ll wait while you leave.

Okay, y’all still with me? You can read this only if you promise not to be evil.

Click the jump.


Almost 6 in 10 (58 percent) employees surveyed are willing to go “above and beyond” for the good of their companies, according to recent research by Modern Survey. This is a 6 percent increase from 6 months ago. Meanwhile, a December survey by Towers Perrin says that 76 percent of employees surveyed are “personally motivated” to help their companies succeed—perhaps because 45 percent of them think their jobs are in danger.

The optimistic way to view all this, Modern Survey says, is to think “employees are feeling a real sense of gratitude that they can still have jobs and have come to understand that the best thing they can do to improve their chances of keeping their jobs is to do whatever they can to contribute to the near-term success and long-term viability of the organizations they work for,” according to a senior consultant there. But at Towers Perrin, the theory’s that sure, employees that like their coworkers and bosses will try harder, but they’re also terrified of losing their jobs.

So don’t be evil: you could put the fear of God in your employees by threatening more layoffs and pay cuts, but not only is that not nice, it’ll only work for so long. How productive can a terrified employee be, anyway? Instead, be nurturing…please> Max Caldwell, managing principal at Towers Perrin’s New York office, says the role of HR is more important than ever. “The ability for HR to deliver good insight about what its own workforce is thinking and feeling, the way HR helps the organization manage change, the way HR counsels leaders and managers. These are all way more important now.”