Why Staying Employed Can Hinge On Some Superficial Criteria


This weekend I read in one of the newspapers careers sections about some research done by Hays Recruitment about how employees are now more focussed on dressing up for work.

According to this research and article, due to the uncertain economic climate employees are increasingly fearful of losing their jobs. Based on the Hays research it seems an increasing number of employees are opting to dress more formally during the work week, including on casual Fridays for fear or losing their jobs.  It strikes me given this that employees don’t have much faith in how organisations measure employee productivity!

The idea of ‘been seen’ and ‘looking professional’ by the right people (your bosses etc) at work still pervades.  Being seen is more important than productivity and output. Perhaps this is due to many organisations still unable or unwilling to put in place measures to actually understand and measure their employee’s productivity.  Instead of focussing on output, many are still focussed on the old school way of tracking performance.  While I can appreciate some professions are easier to measure than others in relation to output by each employee, such as sales – there are certainly more effective systems that can be incorporated for tracking output across all professions that are less superficial.

So it seems that if you are at work on time and work the set hours (often recorded via your security pass and/or computer login times), are seen by the right people and look professional your likelihood of staying employed are increased.

Share your views on the subject. Have you experienced this in your career? Do you think organisations need to be better equipped to measure employee productivity?

2 thoughts on “Why Staying Employed Can Hinge On Some Superficial Criteria

  1. Malika Perera

    Indeed so, how right you are! Add to it body image (nothing less than that lean, slim, athletic look) and being there to join the eary morning coffee queue and walking the walk and talking the talk.

    OK, now to be nice.
    The innovative employee, the thinker who works quietly to find solutions to problems and streamlines processes and uses available technology to enhance tasks is what I would be looking for. Remember “the silent giant”.

    I hope to undertake a research paper in this area next year.

  2. S Henderson

    Sadly, I know there are some work places where the above is quite correct. I know of a work area where there are multiple ways of recording work output, but the manager seems more interested in clothing, hairstyle & whether employees appear to be working the “right” way. Sadly many staff organise to be “seen” regularly and then try to keep “under the radar” so they can do their work & hopefully keep on the good side of the boss. It really doesn’t help the organisation and there is a high staff turnover which further disillusions staff.


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