The Employee-Employer Social Pact is Changing

Corporate loyalty is a concept from a previous generation. We genXers have a very different attitude, as this article illustrates.

Papke and Cohn can be seen as bookends that illuminate how much the corporate social contract has been transformed for managerial and skilled professional workers in America. That transformation is a byproduct of rapid technological change, the globalization of business and faster-moving markets in industry after industry. The result is that it is far more difficult for corporations to provide an institutional buffer to protect either themselves or their employees from market disruptions.

The American experience mirrors to some extent what has been going on in Japan, where more young graduates favor job-hopping and shorter-term contracts. In Continental Europe, by contrast, employees still consider long-term contracts the norm, although European companies, faced with the high cost of hiring and firing, are increasingly using short-term workers in a bid to introduce some flexibility to their labor options.

It is increasingly difficult to keep good people, which is why the "softer" benefits of a job matter more than ever.

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