Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!

In 2010, http://www.cia.gov estimated that Germany’s labor force numbered 43.35 million people and was rated 14th in the world. Those numbers broken down by occupation are: Agriculture: 2.4%; Industry: 29.7%; Services: 67.8% (2005).





The Chinese Xinhua News Agency Editor, Xiong Tong, reported on June 1, 2011, that the Eurozone’s unemployment rate was at a high of 9.9% in April, although a year ago it was at 10.2%, so it is slowly getting better.

Comparing that to Germany’s unemployment rate of 7% (reported by the German Federal Labour Agency to the BBC NEWS business issue of May 31, 2011), Gallup reported on June 8, 2011, that “Germany has made the fastest improvement of the G7 nations (Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) in the past 10 years”. However, the same article, written by Marco Nink and Bryant Ott, discusses the problem Germany is having with disengaged workers.

An engaged employee cares about customer care and performing their job to the best of their ability. In contrast, disengaged employees really don’t care about doing their job with any sense of pride. The chart below from Gallup shows how the figures work out:

Disengaged workers also call in sick more often, do not provide service that will bring customers back to their places of business and do not participate in sharing ideas to improve the workplace with their employers. Since many innovations and/or new products are often the result of ‘happy coincidences’ at work, this could be costing the German economy in lost patents and inventions. As reported by Nink and Ott, the cost of this to the German economy is estimated to be between 121.8 and 133.6 billion euros a year, an astonishingly high number in a country that takes pride in being the most populous country and largest economy in the EU (European Union).

It remains to be seen whether or not the culture will be able to bring back pride in their workforce and their belief that what they do matters. If it doesn’t, it could mean even more problems for the countries of the Eurozone.


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