Norwegians seems to be lazy…

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stockxpertcom_id4257771_size0It is getting close to elections here in Norway, and yes I know what to vote. But in all the politics one single topic has caught my attention. Kristin Clement , a former minister is lashing out on Norwegians work moral. The explosion in welfare expenses in Norway is partly caused by low work moral, and immigration worker are praised for their high level of work moral. It is a question about moral and values she says.

Another political scientist and author, Simen Sætre claims that another class distinction is developing, and that Norwegians is the “leisure class” and immigrants are the “servant class” Norwegians do not want low status jobs, and would rather collect welfare. This tendency is supported by senior researcher Jon Rogstad from the Institute of Social Research.

 “Yes, this is clearly a trend. Within certain industries, we see that fewer and fewer Norwegians want a job – and that they in fact prefer to go on welfare.”

Norwegians work 430 hours less now than before we started to get income from oil, this is going in the same directions as rich oil producing Arabic countries, where immigrants is the “servant class” According to Sætre.

This is very interesting reading, and I like to blame management for failing to teach value and work moral to employees. I have been managing more than 100 people in my managing career and I can count all the lazy ones on one hand. I believe that less than 5 % have been slackers. I have been working with tech people most of my life and they have a natural interest and drive for the product or service provided. But when I recap the cleaning staff is foreign, the taxi driver is foreign and the carpenters are foreign.  I’ll guess we need to embrace that workers want to come to Norway and do the jobs that we obviously won’t do.

Still managers have a responsibility to teach values to their employees, a will to succeed in the future. If you decide to go on welfare, you probably will have a hard time getting back onto the rat race. I am raised in a family that would rather starve to death then accepting welfare. So how can we teach such skills and values? How can we prevent employees to be sick if the task list is including boring jobs?

I like to imagine the future for my employees. I want them to visualize the future with a great resume and the future without one. If you hold a “shit job” for 2-3 years with an excellent resume you will most likely get a better job next time.

I also feel that family values need to be evaluated. I see parents running errands for their kids, driving them to soccer practice, to school, to friends. And with one SMS kids get their own chauffeur in no time. I heard a story recently about a teen that volunteered to stand at a drinking station serving water to runners at a local race. After 30 minutes he sent a message that this was enough work from his side and he wanted to go home. The race had not yet started… Get the kids walking… I watched a local soccer practice for 20 minutes and it had not yet started because everyone was late. I was astonished about this as I can still remember my first practices with this team, if we where late we would have to run during the practice or sit out. And now people where walking in 20 minutes late. What is going on I asked, where is the discipline? If we demand them to be on time, they won’t show, and we will have to cancel games!

But to the bottom line, what can we as managers do, and you as parents do to help creating a hard working generation? I hope all my employees will cherish a hard day’s work, and learn the joy of getting things done.

This post is based on these news:
http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/valg-2009/artikkel.php?artid=566895
http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/valg-2009/artikkel.php?artid=570831
For my Norwegian readers enjoy, for my English friends, I am sorry, there is no English version. Try google translate for the fun of it.

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