Where is the root of the “evil”?

The companies suffer from a chronic problem of lack of workers, and as a result they suffer losses and work using adapted processes. The pandemic continues to worsen the conditions.
On one hand, the companies should fight for survival and work in exceptionally hard conditions in the energy and economic crisis, and the continued search for workers puts additional strain on them.
The problem is complex and captures, slowly but surely, all sectors. Many business owners share the same problems. If you ask them if there are people who are willing to work, they will answer: “It’s terrible. We have open notices but only people who come and go. Some of them apply, but do not show up for the interview; others show and we hire them but they leave in a few days giving various excuses, and there are also people who you hire but they never show up on the first day. We offer a higher salary, good work conditions, but they are still not satisfied.”
Strange but true. This is the picture in the companies.
But why are these trends happening? Is this an issue only we face?
Maybe the knowledge that the companies in the many developed countries have the same problem will settle things a little. There is constantly new information that they face with a lack of workers, which brings the survival and development of the companies into question. For example, only 2% of the Austrian employers state that they do not have any issues with finding workers. The remaining ones are worried and believe that bad days are coming for their companies because there are no workers.
If 83% of the Austrian employers state that they face issues with finding workers people from almost all Balkan countries leave to these European countries, the situation must be even worse here. The statements of the business owners only confirm this.
What is the issue?
Where is the root of the “evil”? According to economic analysts, there are several factors. Among them is the problem with low productivity, which usually arises from outdated technologies, price of labour, unfavourable conditions on the labour market. In that sense, according to their own research, the World Economic Forum placed the country, throughout the years, among the countries with the highest rate of moving out of workers, to the 129th place out of 140 countries, according to the ability to keep the quality workers.
Should the problems with this kind of situation with the workers be traced back to the past, even from the education process, what is the quality of this process and how does it prepare the people for the labour market in reality? Does the new education make the education processes more laid back, and the children get used to being given in, have privileges, false good results or false values, and that later comes and bites them because these things go through the process of obtaining higher education, especially with the increase of the number of private higher education institutions? That “comfortable” sliding through all phases by a young person, where they should prepare for the work and live processes, obviously leaves large consequences and therefore they come with the same expectations of being laid-back for the job position as well, meaning that they should not put a lot of effort but must receive a salary.
All analyses on these topics continuously confirm the same conditions, that “there is a discrepancy between the demand of the labour market and what the education is offering”. Here, probably, the connection between what the real need of the companies is and what they have as a choice in recruiting on the labour market is lost and this is the reason why we have this new type of workers today. On the other hand, these types of analyses show that ”during the process of learning, there is a lack of adequate and quality practical training for acquiring professional skills, and the curricula are not adjusted to the real needs for qualification. The need for soft skills such as communication, accountability, self-criticism, dedication, skills that are important for performing the work tasks, is neglected and not many young people own them. Therefore, many young people who are part of the working-age category cannot efficiently be included in the economy due to inappropriate education and professional training as the publication on Description of the Specific Skills Necessary for the Leading Companies, prepared by the Macedonian Economic Chamber for the needs of the project Education for Employment in the Republic of North Macedonia, shows. What more can it be said?
Why such a problem did not exist in the past? Why all factories were full of thousands of workers and everybody worked hard, were satisfied with the job position and delivered results and quality?
Should it need to be understood that the workers today are lazier, less interested in the job due to various factors and circumstances?
Is there a need for a reaction, and the employers to allocate a larger part of the profit for improving the work conditions of the worker from every aspect, like trainings, space, bonuses etc.?
Maybe the problems of the companies will decrease by investing in trainings, sending workers to further their educations in foreign centres etc., something that will be both motivating and attractive for the workers. No, says part of the business owners. On the contrary, with that, they add one more problem, which frightens them, and that is the act of leaving of trained staff, in whom they invested a lot of means.
Where does the loyalty of the worker get lost? What encouraged this trend, the feeling of continuous disloyalty or differences in generation and their new characters?
The employment strategy needs to be updated, the labour market measures and policies today need to be adjusted to the changed face and character of any potential employee.
This is a must. Why do people pay increasingly more attention to the additional benefits offered by a job position in comparison to the past? People like more to work in a relaxed version of the job, with a laid-back seriousness, to work but without pressure, tensions, strictness, but in a surrounding with empathy, understanding, positive atmosphere, acceptance, tolerance for the actions etc.
Many analyses show that the strict and dictatorship-like behaviour in a company has consequences to the survival, frequent fluctuation of the employees, bad working atmosphere, which decreases the productivity and consumes a lot of the workers’ energy.
According to this, we are under an impression that there is no money that can “buy” the worker if they are put in such a toxic environment.
Many developed countries already implement programmes and experiment with various policies to motivate and attract workers and improve their productivity. They offer flexibility in the work and choice, working from home or office, decrease the days of the working week, ban calls or communication of the employer with the employee after work hours or weekend (the example with France, regulated with law provisions), calculating the commute to work in the working house and many other benefits in order to improve the working conditions, to attract better workers with these additional benefits.
The parameters showed that these measures gave results.
The national companies use these measures very little to resolve the problems with the lack of a qualified workforce because, as they say, they are not able to.
Did they calculate, did they measure what is better, to be in constant search for good workers, to lose productive time with interviews, to register, deregister, select, convince etc. or to take the opposite approach and work on continuous improvement of the work environment and creating an image of such employer.
Are they prepared?
At the moment, only a small percentage of them. But in the future, most of them will have to. Because the new generations of workers come, workers who absolutely do not tolerate the bad conditions offered by the employers, quit without thinking, even under the conditions to be a state of the eternal search for a new job. Simply, they look for the best for them, something that fulfils their expectations.
The times when the workers worked with fear that they will lose their job, when they kept quiet and worked in miserable conditions and salaries are dying. There is one more wave, from the older generation of workers who remain working in peace with the bad conditions. As time passes, the cycle is moving and when this category of worker will leave, there won’t be such workers left, workers with this kind of characteristics. And then maybe the employers will transform because there won’t be any comprise left to make. They will have to get used to the new face and character of the worker.
Does the thesis that the bad upbringing and system made this priceless damages exist, creating this kind of conditions, with the attitude “learn so you don’t have to work” or “get a job in the state administration and relax”? Or the transition, the underpaid labour of the worker, playing games through various forms by the employer. Or the trend to move abroad at all costs.

The problem is that they are not free at their job. They are constantly in a state of expectation and readiness, they have a feeling that they will be played, get a smaller salary, per diem etc. and therefore they do not get overwhelmed, they work less, they do not have the space to fully invest their capacity in the work but the work with the expectation that they will receive a new blow every moment.
These trends in the labour market come as a somewhat return of the blow on the employer by the workers. Something that is happening but no one wants to say it out loud or to analyse the reason, and then prepare strategies in order to influence these conditions.
Overcoming the unfavourable condition in the economy, regarding the lack of workers, is a priority because the time is ticking.
Let’s create better conditions here, to make our job positions attractive, to motivate the employees.
The benefits will go both ways, for both the employers and workers, but also the entire economy.

Marija Georgievska