The Worst Generation

The Worst Generation

We’ve all heard of the Greatest Generation, the men and women who saved the world from totalitarianism in World War II. Well, now we have another generation deserving of its own title, but this one is different. It’s the Worst Generation—the single most self-serving and stupid group of “leaders” in the history of American business.

That statement is not hyperbole; it’s fact. Sadly, the details are well known to all of us. While stumbling into the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, this group of business leaders—and that includes all those C-suiters, their buddies on their Boards of Directors and the sycophants waiting for their turn at the trough—has richly rewarded themselves. They have booted over 7 million of their employees out the door while bonusing up their own compensation to the tune of billions of dollars.

And now, in the face of historic highs in job dissatisfaction among their workers, this Worst Generation has decided that they needn’t worry about workforce retention. According to a new report from Deloitte, over two-thirds of the country’s corporate employers—a whopping 69%—have no program to retain top talent. None. Nada.

On top of that, the Hay Group reports that planned salary increases for top performers in 2010—that’s the “A” level talent recruiters work so hard to acquire—will be a paltry 2.8 percent.

And, these are the same guys and gals who pontificate that “our workers are our most important asset.” They’re the ones you see on business cable waxing eloquent about how important their employees are. It makes for good sound bites, but that’s all it is—an investment of verbal capital or what most of us call hot air.

What can you do about it? How can you protect yourself from the Worst Generation?

Avoid the organizations they lead. Whether you’re a job seeker or a recruiter, don’t work for the Worst Generation. There are good and caring corporate leaders out there. Hitch your star to them.

How can you spot the good ones?

Subject their actions—not their words—to a simple test. The best leaders understand that their role is not teamWORK—pumping up company profits (and their own pay) by demanding more and more effort out of their employees. What they strive for, instead, is TEAMwork—creating success for both the company and its employees by supporting the development and accomplishment of each individual. Let that kind of leader put your talent to work, and you’re much more likely to achieve the career you deserve.

Thanks for reading,
Peter