CHART OF THE WEEK
Knowledge Workers Are Breaking Up with Full-Time Employment
What’s the quickest way to get a talented worker to lose faith in your company?
Layoff a bunch of their peers without explanation, regardless of their contributions.
Like most of its peers in big tech, Salesforce recently laid off 10% of its staff. A decision that would seem to contradict the company’s motto about being one big family.
In the aftermath the founder and CEO, Marc Benioff, took a 10-day digital detox in French Polynesia—he said the experience was “very freeing.” (Poor choice of words, Marc.)
Employees reacted instantly on Reddit. One wrote, “What’s happened to Salesforce in the last ~4 months is a disgrace. The entire leadership team should be fired and publicly shamed for this betrayal.”
Betrayal… it’s a word we’re hearing a lot these days.
“After a recent round of layoffs at the biggest, most profitable tech companies, including Amazon and Google, some workers are finding themselves unemployed and struggling to find the reasons why, when many of them were considered high-performers, at the top of their field,” Rani Molla, a senior correspondent at Vox wrote on LinkedIn. “These once-hot tech companies are starting to behave a lot like the rest of stodgy corporate America, making cuts simply to appease investors.”
We did some polling to understand the phenomenon better and published a report last month on what we’re calling The Great Betrayal. Our topline finding? Sixty-two percent of knowledge workers said that the recent waves of layoffs have made them feel less secure committing to one employer.
The word “betrayal” seems to be striking a chord.
Tony Case of Work Life explained it like this: “The Great Betrayal has been described as an employee realizing that stability and loyalty in the workplace are an illusion, and workers are better off betting on themselves and renting out their skills across multiple clients.”
“Workers are fed up and have lost faith in the stability and security of full-time work,” Raphael Ouzan, A.Team’s founder and CEO, told Work Life. “Layoffs often have nothing to do with job performance.”
It’s leading to a shift towards freelancing, especially among highly-skilled tech workers who can charge handsomely by the hour.
“The latest wave of dismissals is catalyzing a shifting mindset among workers — and new attitudes towards trust, stability, and the employer-employee relationship could be here to stay,” the Financial Times reported. “While skilled workers remain in demand, it is likely they will take on jobs on a contract basis.”
And with 57% of freelancers reporting satisfaction with the amount of money they make (compared to 42% of non-freelancers), who can blame them?
Join Us for Healthtech Happy Hour
A.Team is co-hosting a happy hour for health tech innovators on February 21st in midtown. Come join us for some mixing and mingling alongside fellow healthtech builders and founders, and hear from top investors on their outlook on the funding environment in 2023 and beyond.
There'll be great food and drinks and even better people.
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