This week, we discuss cultural norms around job-hopping and the impact of shorter tenures on the workplace.
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Ryan Purvis 0:00
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works Podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather big now, in the series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they face, how they solve them. The areas they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, that will help you to get to grips with a digital workspace inner workings.
According to the article you sent me this morning about the Japanese? Open, where's your thinking? Your priorities? I think that's happening for a lot of people.
Heather Bicknell 0:38
Yeah, I thought that was interesting to see. Because, um, you know, talking to former colleagues, I've had to work out of Tokyo, it felt like the transformation around ways of working, you know, was slower to happen there that they even have a different work culture, and that, you know, remote work. And all of that is very new and very different and very, not the way that they did business. So I thought, you know, seeing that change, or start to change was super interesting.
Ryan Purvis 1:21
Yeah, look, I haven't worked here, but but I have worked with many people from there. And it is a different culture to the Western way that I'm comfortable with. And I think this this dynamic for all the bad things have happened with it has been good. For many people, many reasons. to redefine why they work, how they work, and what they work with. Who's wise.
Heather Bicknell 1:50
Yeah, and hopefully, like what they are doing. You know, I think it was a Gallup poll that they pointed out, were only 4%, I think it was 4% of Japanese workers reported feeling engaged with their job, which seems to be a product of the expectation being for the most part that you join one company, and you stay with them, and you kind of move where they say you should move and kind of do what they say you should do. And it's kind of less self serving more like, you know, loyalty and driven by the company you work for. But I thought that, you know, 4% engaged was like, an absurd number, honestly.
Ryan Purvis 2:43
Yeah, sorry, I'm standing because my daughter is trying to sleep and I'm gonna keep rocking
Heather Bicknell 2:46
here. I actually can't see you on video anymore. So you're good.
Ryan Purvis 2:52
Oh, that's interesting. You can see me in video.
Heather Bicknell 2:55
Oh, weird. If you're just a bubble.
Ryan Purvis 3:00
Okay, there's more, let me turn my camera off then. Because we'll probably improve the bandwidth. Yeah, so interesting, because that's almost like my parents sort of generation of like that my dad was at the same company 44 years from a product Prentice, all the way through to the day left. No, you didn't didn't go anywhere else. Okay, he after that he went consultant. But, you know, if I, if I compare my career, and he and I have a different, very different views on it, I mean, I will move what's a regularly but you know, 18 months to three years, three and a half years is probably my longest thing some way. And that's just based on growth and opportunity. Which is a very different mindset to the previous generations. And I remember talking with a Japanese work colleague, about exactly that about how, from a tradition point of view and specific words, the corner was basically, him if he had to move around, you would lose face. For his family, if he's working with a big brand, like if he was working for Sony or someone like that, that's well known and who left them that would have replications through the whole family. It wouldn't just be in moving. And I think that's starting to change, maybe from other articles saying that they want one brand, but then they want to be able to do their own thing or find for funding to Korea.
Heather Bicknell 4:34
Yeah, it sounds like there's less judgment, or it's becoming more normal for people to move around a bit. I don't know how it is, if this is starting to go away in Japan, or what if it's kind of the influence of more being self driven and doing what you want to do and following your interests and passions, if that's kind of The driver, but at least, you know, from my perspective in the US. And you're right, a lot of the previous generations would stick with, you know, their employer, their whole career, or for a very large portion of it, but they had, you know, pensions, they had things that were long term incentives for them to stay with one company they built up, you know, they had a financial insecurity, you know, safety net reason to stick with one company, and a lot of those bigger benefits have eroded faded away, no longer are a thing. So, your financial loyalty to accompany is, you know, it's less risky to change jobs, because there's not as much that you've kept, you haven't put all your eggs in one basket. So to say, Well, I
Ryan Purvis 5:54
think that's what digitalization has changed. And if you think about why that was the case, is because the only companies that could do a pension, were the big ones. And typically, those pensions were self managed. Now, and I see this in South Africa, in the UK, you know, your pension, can be with any third party. Because you know, that the economies of scale are there now that anyone can basically anyone with regulation, that's quite considerable pension. And you can contribute to it. In fact, it's law in the UK, if you work more than a certain amount hours, you have to be at a pension, we have to have a pension scheme that you contract. That's right. But you're not locked in to the company one in most cases. So like, when I worked from UBS, we could, we had to use the UBS pension fund, because all our fees are waived, or something to the effect of preferential fee structure. The minute I left, that had to go to a third party straightaway. And so straightaway, they're like 18 months to decide where it goes. And all that kind of stuff that it couldn't stay in the UBS fund, obviously, because of their benefit on the fee structures. But now, it's pretty common to like move your stuff around, there's no, there's no fees to move, per se, you buying and selling index funds, really. So there's a buy and sell cost. But like I've moved all my stuff to provide a few offers the best on fees, and consolidate all my pension funds into that. And it's a completely digital experience. When I log into the portal, I do the submissions electronically, I sign off the documents electronically submit them back, I mean, I did all this while this Africa. Whereas a lot of these pension providers here are still old school, since you have to write a letter from a form, post it in that sort of thing. And I think I think that's what makes it appealing for me, in some respects. You know, there's the reason to stay in a company is because it's got a good culture. And there's growth opportunities, and you feel like you're aligned with everyone, the reasons those benefits are there. And by law, they have to be heard some cases. But I have freedom to choose because of digital tools, digital implementations.
Heather Bicknell 8:16
Yeah, I think it's very interesting, hearing your perspective. And I feel like the US is so behind in certain areas. You know, our health insurance is tied to employment, right. So every time you switch employers, you have to go through that and figure that whole thing out again, like, people certainly still do it. And you know, working in tech has definitely, I think skewed my perception of what our tenure is, because, you know, a lot of people do move every two to three years. It's very common. So but, you know, that does come with some annoyances over here in terms of switching, you know, pretty important parts of your life plan and safety net around, that's just kind of,
Ryan Purvis 9:07
oh, look, it's you know, I mean, I've worked in lots of small companies to it. And those things are, those benefits don't always exist. So I remember I worked for when I first started my career with the company, and they didn't cover medical. So you had to cover medical yourself. And if you're paying for medical directly, it's far more expensive than if you do it in a group. But the group's got to be a certain size. And if you're working in a startup, you know, 1015 people that's too small, do you need to be like the 30s to the 50s to get even the base level thing so I can understand, you know, lots of a lot of the stuff in all the way south african was quite quite far ahead of us. You know, when I go to the UK, for example, what we had as private health care if Africa as a scheme that you paid into, was quite advanced. And And ironically the This scheme that I'm tied to here in the UK is extra circle and Company, which is the one that I use in Salford as well because of what they do. And that's a whole gamification thing. I think we've talked about it before. But that in essence, if you do your fitness with your walking, you do all that stuff, you get benefits for being healthy, which ties back into health insurance, which in theory means you claim less. But they've used with some some models to say if you claim less, then obviously, it doesn't cost the scheme, anything. But they can give you an exchange, they'll pay for, like, we get our shoes, our products, get our gym memberships, half price, if you use a main gym, I get a free cup of coffee once a week, all that silly things, but they gamified it so well that all I do is check my app, you know, you know me, I prefer my different tracking devices. And, but I know that if I don't do that stuff. I mean, it's a silly thing, I'm using my free cup of coffee, but I really know that I'm improving my health. Which means I don't spend all the time going to doctor. So healthcare becomes a really when you need it situation, as opposed to something that keeps you going. And again,
Heather Bicknell 11:21
yeah, preventative is key. Maybe the flip this conversation on its head, and I don't have any research or data to kind of back this up or inform this. But I think it is interesting to think about the, the organization side of the equation and the perspective of a company. Because if you have employees who are moving around more frequently, kind of, you know, doing two to three years since with you, you kind of expect a certain level of turn right, that becomes normal. What does that mean for knowledge transfer and like, disruption within the organization is that I mean, it's pretty costly to onboard and hire new employees. So it's just like, it's interesting to like, what does that do to an organization over time to have you know, not infrequent turnover of staff, I mean, you can say that, you know, anyone is really replaceable, to an extent, you know, you can always get someone to fill the role, but there's, you know, knowledge and processes and everything that do change when you are get lost when you lose people.
Ryan Purvis 12:40
Well, that is a huge problem. So, it's something I mean, that's where I did that burnout thing, and that's just something that came up quite a lot is staff retention, you know, working with way or finding ways rather to keep staff coming in. And things like flexible working, remote working. Those teams were actually some of the key reasons for for person to come or go from the company, in some cases, or then who the boss was, because there used to be the old reason why people don't leave companies, they leave their bosses. And if I look at various scenarios that I've been involved in, one of those things has always been the choice to look at adults. So if you're, if you're able to do things, because you think it's the most suitable with within reason, and for the right reasons, ways of doing something, you get empowered to do that. That's that's usually what builds a good culture. In an organization, weird, we tend to go off the rails is when people are overly constrained. And their traits, you know, what's the word present, to talk to the dog. And these are the things that are effective now for people coming into the market. I mean, I was interviewed some guys today. Every single one of them. The first question was, what's your policy on remote working? What's your policy on personal devices? What's your policy on? Working in different locations in the draft to come to the office every day? That was like, that's the first kind of questions. And it's I don't think it's because people don't like to go and meet other people in the office. I think it's coming back to the freedom choice. And saving time, I think, you know, time and energy and fatigue. People become very aware of it, and realizing that they do their best work when they're not tired. And I think that's a big factor too. I would love to play small and what do you think?
Heather Bicknell 14:57
Yeah, I think there's a remote Work part of it is usually important to attracting and retaining certain staff, in particular, definitely skewing younger, but a lot of people have benefited from that flexibility, and just see that it improves their lives overall. And so it's hard to without a very good justification, right? Why would you give that up, I mean, I think a lot of people can understand the, the need to come together in person and meet people and maybe have collaboration moments, and that there's times that justify it, but for a lot of the work, a lot of that knowledge work, you know, because really, what we're talking about here is people who are knowledgeable first, for the most part. That is, it still comes down to you're staring at a screen, you're working on digital files you are having video calls, like the nature of your work, really doesn't change, no matter where you're working from. So sorry, I just kind of sorry, you lose me again.
Ryan Purvis 16:11
That's fine. I didn't, I didn't tie in the other piece to what you were saying, which is the the knowledge of the worker. And so I think that comes down to realizing that anyone that comes in New, and this doesn't matter whether in the office or remote, is going to have a ramp up time, you know, no, two, three months. Obviously, working together in an office, I think that can be accelerated. I think there's a level of new joiners slash young workers, that according to be in the office every day to get the knowledge, and then once they've got the knowledge, they can work remotely. Now, when it walks out the door, you know, especially when when someone's been in the company, multiple, multiple years, you know, to, to upwards, that institutional knowledge is, is quite high. And I don't think that value can always be articulated. But usually, when they leave it, what what they don't know that they knew, that walks out the door, that often is more important than what that what the what they what you knew the new salesperson that walks out the door, you know, you know, they know the product, you know, they know some people so that you can, you can almost in some sense, sometimes as worker, we plan to do a handover, and then we train someone, but the experience of selling to a customer five years ago with a good relationship and all that stuff. And they can go back there again, that you can always train for that you can't replace nearly. In its nature business, I don't think you'll ever solve that problem, per se. But it's to try and avoid the problem if you can.
Heather Bicknell 18:05
Definitely, yeah, I think that's the best answer, right? It's not great for companies, for employees to be moving around. And the more incentives and you know that the more they can improve their own culture to convince employees to stay for longer than that kind of two to three year mark. You know, the better will be for the organization. I think part of it too, is, and I'm interested to see what changes here. And if anything changes here, but you know, it's pretty common knowledge to think particularly in tech that if you want to have a higher salary, the best way to do that is to change jobs, like the raise that you're getting on an annual basis doesn't come close to what you could get by switching companies a lot of the time. So I think that's something that organizations either need to solve for when it comes to really understanding where the job market is at and salary expectations or just accept, you know, some level of attrition because of that part of the equation, which is, you know, obviously, having a good culture and good benefits, keeps people around and is an important part of that equation, but at a certain point. That's what it comes down to for a lot of people on why they decide to switch down.
Ryan Purvis 19:34
Look, we talked about this before, I've seen that often. I mean, you interstage specifically in the marketing space where you get a booming product, like in those days, SharePoint was the premium product and then the dynamics and gods would move to partners and and it's a small network. Everyone knows everyone in those places. And the developer would work six months on a project and then go to the next company and get an I would take him or her because they're desperate for resources that had the knowledge and pay them 10 20% more just to get them. And you see a lot in India as well, where if you don't move quickly on a on a resource, you can lose them to another one, because they're prepared to pay X amount more or where they're going to be the reputation in the market. And I think that's almost the mercenary world we live in, in some respects, that is tech. And I was speaking to someone today about it, funnily enough. And we're talking about him coming across, join us. And he said, Well, look, I can't go until I finish up a few things. But that's how I am. And I said, yeah, that's, that's how you should be, you know, you, once you tell me that you're coming on X and X date, then you're locked in, like, that's your timeframe, I don't want to hear in x and x minus one, that you can't come because you haven't finished the stuff off at that point, but my problem anymore, but I hear you've got a reputation. And you got to protect it because you're a consultant, and you only as good as your last, your last job. So that's, you know, that's acceptable. That's the professionalism that should exist. And a guy like, you know, this when you have a sort of go to SMEs, and they should follow a code of conduct like that, where they move around, but they move around, providing good, good quality work, because that's what makes them valuable.
Heather Bicknell 21:28
Yeah, I think, you know, when it comes back to the enjoying what you do, and being, you know, driving your career based off of your interests, and finding that satisfaction, and I write, it's not very satisfying to go to organization, basically go through the onboarding, period, and leave, like you want to deliver some value, right and make an impact. And I think when you that's, that's where it's tricky, right? If you if you come in and don't that's not part of it, like what are you working for? Like, you're, you're maybe being a very efficient way to get your paycheck for minimal effort. But like, does that is that satisfying? I guess, at the end of the day, I think what I've realized, changing companies is that I, I like to have institutional knowledge not to hoard it, but like to become a subject matter expert to be someone who, you know, is known to be someone who can come to you with questions, you know, relied on, that I enjoy having that as part of my role. And, you know, I've been at my current company around six months, it's gonna take, you know, more time to get to where I was at my previous company, but in terms of being an expert, but the I find personally satisfaction from, you know, be feeling like I'm really providing something in that way. And that if I didn't invest in that, my career would feel how long we were, I don't know, just yeah, let's let's fulfilling, I think
Ryan Purvis 23:17
there's a certain comfort and being institutionalized, and certain safety with the enemy. I think that's why a lot of people didn't leave their work during the pandemic, not only because they needed a job and whatever. But there was a certain, you know, in a lot of uncertainty, there was comfort in knowing where you were in what you're doing every day. And the minute that that comfort minute that the things started to open up an opportunity to start presenting themselves, he was a whole bunch of people that, you know, I don't really enjoy this company. You know, it's, there's other things out there, let me move and that became the sort of Greg designation, the great reshift, or what do you want to call it? Which I can tell you understand, I mean, you know, I, as I said, I move fairly regularly, which, you know, it's not something I always want to do. But sometimes there's, there's an opportunity that presents itself that is more suited to where I want to go and what I want to do. And part of the fun is starting a new place and learning all the stuff and being exposed to change, because that's a thought maybe it's ADHD or something like that, that would feed into that. But then there's also a level of if I look at someone, you ask them their phone calls from companies I've worked in and they go, Well, you know, why did you do that? Or how can you come help us with this? And there's a certain sense of satisfaction or fulfillment that you can still help someone with something you did 567 years ago?
Heather Bicknell 24:43
Yeah. Absolutely. Good point.
Ryan Purvis 24:48
Cool. I do need to run. I'm gonna do the archer. She's in some order. Good to catch up.
Heather Bicknell 24:56
All right, you too. Thanks, Ryan. This is a bike All right.
Ryan Purvis 25:04
Thank you for listening to today's episode. Hey, the big news app producer editor. Thank you, Heather. For your hard work on this episode. Please subscribe to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the DW W podcast. The shownotes and transcripts will be available on the website www dot digital workspace that works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace that works and subscribe to our newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues
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