Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 4

AV BRAINS & BRAWN
Understanding Employee Value
Assessing the employment landscape, short-tenured workers and how to measure real value.
By Alan C. Brawn
OUR TOPIC OF THE MONTH is employment
tenure and establishing employee
value. This is something we each face
daily; it's all around us. As usual, let's
begin our exploration with a little historical
context, starting with where many of
us came from historically (at least, work
wise!). I grew up in the classic blue-collar
town. Our claim to fame was that we had
three major oil refineries in our community.
The town's residents, for the most part,
were employees of the oil refineries. They
were served by the merchants in a Norman
Rockwell-esque downtown area.
Workers - most of them were men back
then - would carry their lunch pails with
them and, upon entering work, they'd
punch in on a timeclock. They began at a
certain hour, did their job and punched
out after their shift. If they did what they
were assigned by their foreman or supervisor,
they would have a secure job for years
- if not for life. My uncle spent 48 years at
one company, and he retired back in the
1980s with a pension supplied and paid
for by that company. Anybody remember
those days?
A Security Blanket
For those of us who lived in this era, there
was a " security blanket " of sorts from an
employment perspective. However, for
younger folks (say, those under 50), this is
an alien concept. We need to recognize that
those times no longer exist; likewise, neither
does the security blanket of job longevity.
Today, most of us are faced with something
more complex than the former script of
punching in and out on a timeclock, doing a
prescribed and assigned job, and collecting
a weekly paycheck. Also, don't even think
about getting a company pension or a gold
watch at the end of a long tenure on the job.
Today, long-term employment at a company
is elusive at best. That said, if you have it,
then good for you!
4
Commercial Integrator APRIL 2022
The data indicates younger workers are more likely to be short-tenured employees.
For those of us who connect with colleagues
and contacts on a regular basis,
whether directly or online, I'm sure you've
noticed how many seem to change jobs
every couple of years. I spend a lot of time
on LinkedIn, saying, " Congrats on the
new job, opportunity or role! " For some
time, I've had the impression - this is my
anecdotal experience - that, for many,
jobs seemed to last about two or three
years. To lend credence to those impressions,
I reviewed an Employee Tenure
Summary, published by the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, done as part of the most
recent census. For the sake of brevity, I will
condense the findings.
Combining all demographics of wage
and salary workers, the data indicated
that the median number of years workers
would remain with their current employer
was 4.1 years in 2020. There was no
real change in that number over the last
decade. The median tenure of workers
ages 55 to 64 was 10 years, whereas, for
workers ages 25 to 34, it was just under
three years. This data confirms my original
impressions of job tenure. There is something
more significant to digest, though.
What is most revealing in the report is
what its authors termed " short-tenured
groups. " Those include " new hires, job
losers who found new jobs during the previous
year and workers who had voluntarily
changed employers during the year. " In
2020, the share of wage and salary workers
with a year or less of tenure with their current
employer was 22%. The data indicated
that younger workers were more likely than
older workers to be short-tenured employees.
Of course, it's a generalized percentage,
demographically speaking, but
nearly one quarter of the wage and salary
workforce has a tenure of one year or less.
This is a startling and disturbing statistic.
Trend Toward
Short-Term Employment
What concerns me (and, thus, inspired
me to explore the topic) is the trend
toward short-term employment. This can
have a negative effect and unintended
consequences on companies, employees
and entire industries. There is a myriad
of reasons that people change jobs.
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Commercial Integrator April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator April 2022

Commercial Integrator April 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 2
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