I agree with the connection John Renz makes between equity and success (Letters, Personnel Today, 13 March). But his assertion that “the driver is profit” is precisely the short-term attitude that has undermined voluntary fair practice and has led to the need for legislation.
The gap between the highest and lowest paid in the UK is wider now than it has been in decades, and is growing.
The amount of profit taken out of business investment by senior management and shareholders has rarely been higher, nor is it sustainable.
Our ‘success’ as a country is increasingly being achieved on the backs of millions of people in marginalised employment – on low pay, working long hours and, increasingly carried out by illegal migrants in often dangerous working conditions.
If the driver and sole function of us all going to work is profit, this state of affairs is probably about right. As for me, workplaces that count employees, the community and the planet we live on as equal to other stakeholders provide far more motivating, sustainable and productive drivers than shareholder profit, and are far more likely to unleash the creativity and drive inherent in any human being.
Given the global problems we face of environmental degradation and medium-term resource depletion, these drivers will become ever more important in the decades to come, and our profession must grasp the challenges and opportunities these present with both hands.
Personnel and training manager