Are You Creating a Culture of Entitlement?

America was built by men and women who came to this country to stand up on their own and create new opportunities for themselves in a free society.  The founders believed that people have the right to make a life of prosperity with their own talents and creative abilities and every family had to find its way.  There were no government given entitlements.  These strongly independent thinkers would turn over in their graves today if they saw what many of the people expect.  Yet many entitlements that are not even thought of as entitlements are expected:  health insurance (now REQUIRED), vacation pay, sick pay, family leave, and the list goes on.  I am not knocking what we have yet I and others do see some issues.

My research found this from FOX news:

“FOX News

Entitlements are two-thirds of the federal budget. Entitlement spending has grown 100-fold over the past 50 years. Half of all American households now rely on government handouts.

When we hear statistics like that, most of us shake our heads and mutter some sort of expletive. That’s because nobody thinks they’re the problem. Nobody ever wants to think they’re the problem.

But that’s not the truth.

The truth is, as long as we continue to think of the rising entitlement culture in America as someone else’s problem, someone else’s fault, we’ll never truly understand it and we’ll have absolutely zero chance of altering its dangerous course.

The truth is that America’s growing entitlement culture is far more pervasive than people realize. It’s also far more top-down than people realize. Indeed, the entitlement mindset that’s infecting America starts with our leadership, and not just in Washington, either.”

Let’s look at the small business world or the family owned business.  Take the example of a company of 50 employees that has been in business over 20 years. Joe has been there since nearly the beginning of the business.  In the past few years Joe’s work has slipped to a seemingly unacceptable level.  Yet because Joe has been there so long management feels he is entitles to keep the job and is doing nothing to try to change it.

How are the other less tenured employees feeling?  They are carrying extra load because Joe just sits back and does as little as possible.  He knows no one will fire him.   “How can he get away with that when if we worked like that we would be fired?  It’s just not fair.  I think I will just go look for another job.”  Off goes the “A” player and with him or her a lot of bad mouthing about the company.  Is this type of entitlement going on in your company–there could be any number of other reasons for it happening.

Here’s another example of what we see often.  Sue is young and just learning the business.  Her learning curve is slow and she really shows little interest in the business.  She would rather party  But she is the owner’s daughter and therefore “entitled” to the job.  Again, what are the other 49 employees thinking?  Same as above.

Considering the loss of productivity because of under performance, work overload on others, turnover, rework because of mistakes and more, these are a very costly situations.

These are not the only ways a company may be creating a feeling of entitlement that is hurting the company, but they are two examples we see often in our practice.

What have you seen? Your comments are invited and please keep them related to the topic!

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