Booming, but not a good employer

Trendy newcomers such as Uber and Deliveroo are incredibly popular. Which makes sense seeing as these modern companies offer us ease and transparency within an affordable range. But everything comes at a price. Have you ever wondered how these companies treat their staff? Jaap Winter, advisor to commissioners, ex-De Brauw attorney and former chairman of the executive board of VU University Amsterdam, writes about it in Het Financieele Dagblad. He speaks of exploitation and refers to employees of these booming industries as ‘modern day slaves’.

Booming, but not a good employer

Back of the line

An employee of a company such as Uber has hardly any influence on the system that determines his or her job. The profits from a ride are set, regardless of how long it takes the driver to complete it, and therefore all the financial risk rests on the employee. Moreover, the driver is dependent on the reviews given by their taxi customers. It takes a single negative review and the system automatically places him at the back of the line for a new ride. There is no employment protection.

People without security

Winter calls it modern-day slavery (article in Dutch). He considers companies such as Uber and Deliveroo as organisations where people are forgotten and left behind. Decisions are based solely on financial parameters. A small group are exploiting a technological innovation to the maximum, regardless of the social costs for society of people without security. Nevertheless, the convenience for consumers ensures their success.

 

Being a good employer: 22% more profit

But will these companies remain a success in the long-term? We do not think so. A turning point will come where employees will quit, sooner rather than later, if there is an alternative available. They do not feel any loyalty. Companies are going to suffer in the long or short term. From our own research we know that when treated with respect, employees achieve and offer much more in the long run. Take for example the employees from the Best Employers of The Netherlands who are 20% more productive, 65% more loyal and 37% less prone to absenteeism, which results in a 22% higher profit. And who would not want that?

A new generation

Even Winter does not see a future in being a bad employer. He sees a growing amount of people that strive to seek fulfilment and pleasure in their job. A new generation that looks to build a healthy society and is content with fair compensation. Being a good employer is key for the future. What is your view?