All companies face more dissidents than ever before, including Apple. Resistance to change is not a good option.
Apple is seeing an increase in internal criticism, as employees realize that the tools they used to do things during the pandemic can also be used to unite and fight for positive change. And Apple will not be alone, as employees around the world are looking for a better deal from the companies they have supported during this time, many of which have made record profits.
Round hooks in square holes
Apple has always reflected society in general. With the emphasis on the company’s creativity and productivity, the first Macs responded to an imperative need for efficiency in order to generate economic growth.
Twenty years ago, the iMac was a productivity machine for a generation of the Internet, while the iPod reflected the needs of an increasingly mobile planet.
Years later, the increasingly visible discussions within Apple also reflect an emerging reality based on values. Today’s employees not only want to do the best job they can, but they want the work they do to resonate and make sense.
They want leadership at all levels, secular or political, to meet their demand to «rebuild better.» It is unfortunate that, at this time of recovery from the middle pandemic crisis, many leaders still seem to imagine that it is possible to rebuild in the same way.
You can’t ignore them
Although there will be many employees who want to return to the office, there are many who do not. In the midst of the global coronavirus crisis, few have been affected by recent events. Many have fallen ill, many remain ill with long-term COVID symptoms, and many of us have lost friends, family, and loved ones.
We are living a global trauma.
Once the crisis recedes, it will take time, communication and care to alleviate the basic feeling of hypervigilance that many feel. Good human resources departments should already budget and plan significant resources to support the mental health of employees once the threat is withdrawn. The whole psychology of trauma recovery shows that when the threat evaporates, the response to post-stress trauma really begins. This is predictable.
This is crazy
That’s why it’s so surprising that companies, including Apple, seem to imagine that they can continue with pre-pandemic business structures. We know that the world of work has changed and more people than ever will want to work remotely most of the time; But we also know that more people than ever have experienced what it feels like to work away from repressive management, office clicks, or harassment at work.
Many of those who have worked so long to support companies that made record revenues during the pandemic will have no interest or support in returning to any office environment that has somehow become toxic. Why would he want to?
Those who see things differently
Apple already knows. Reports that its internal message boards attract a record number of employees critical of the company’s work practices show this. It’s not a reflection of Apple (although its reaction to these complaints could be), as most large companies will have at least some such incidents. But they must not be perpetuated or ignored.
The reason we are marching for racial or women’s rights is not because sexism or racism occurs in isolation. These are the great challenges of society that every company has to face. While its leadership remains overwhelmingly white and masculine, Apple seems quite committed to putting bricks to change that path. But now you have to put more bricks.
At Apple and elsewhere, many workers are now wondering why they need to change self-controlled and proven productive environments into incompetently managed spaces that generally reflect the limitations of others.
Millennials, in particular, want more out of life than that. They want a company’s ethics to go beyond the superficial. They want inclusion and diversity. And they want the kind of autonomy that comes from working remotely.
In this context, Apple should consider its internal criticisms. Not that Apple’s experience is isolated. And the employees are right.
Why not question what it means if you can’t work for a better world two years after a pandemic that left millions sick or dead? If not now, when can you expect to make a difference? How can one be «change» if change does not come?
The company whose products have changed the world must now transform itself to reflect a new set of needs in a world that has changed a little more. «Because people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.» [ Piense diferente ].