Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Today's the day you show those that matter most how much you really care for them.

Or, at heart, it's the day you hope that others show you just how much they adore you.

These deeply uplifting thoughts strike me on reading a new survey from compensation website Payscale.

In this fine survey, HR and business leaders at 7,000 companies shared their deepest feelings about the people they rely on most -- their employees.

It's clear they're worried that, as Rolls Royce once hummed it, love don't live here anymore.

I'm sorry, that was Rose Royce.

A fulsome 66 percent of companies are concerned that their employees are looking around and will leave. 

This represents a 7 percent increase from last year.

It also represents a nauseating insincerity worthy of a Valentine's Day dinner with a player.

And I mean play-ah.

You see, 69 percent of these fine companies insisted they plan to keep raises for these beloved employees at 3 percent or below.

But wait, I hear you ululate. 

The economy is booming. Many corporations are bathing in cash like Mariah Carey bathes in milk.

The government's tax policy, too, has allowed companies to amass cash piles taller than skyscrapers.

And still they don't feel the need to show their employees a little more love than usual?

Isn't that a little like buying your lover a dusty, plastic rose for Valentine's Day?

Please forgive my fervent disbelief. I've just finished a book called Lab Rats by Dan Lyons.

The former Steve Jobs impersonator describes in painful detail just how much contemporary corporations -- especially those in tech -- see employees as little more than sherpas whom they can leave behind once they've conquered the mountain.

In this they're spurred on by VC's, whose main interest lies in rapid growth, so that they and the tech company's founders can cream off the lucre and leave the employees bereft when the company never actually makes money. Ever.

The mere idea that people should be invested in on a long-term basis is regarded by too many business leaders as quaint.

Oh, they're prepared to utter paeans of love to their people when public relations require.

Their real relations, however, consist of employees representing numbers and numbers deciding which employees should stay and which should go.

Of course this doesn't apply to everyone. There are bosses who understand that human commitment -- from both sides -- matters.

Yet what this survey shows is that too many business leaders enjoy a narcissistic greed, one that makes love a one-way affair.

Most of these businesses worry their employees will leave. Few, however, are prepared to show them some love -- and yes, money is an indicator of love in business -- to stay.

Oh, they might toss them a little bonus -- you know, it's like a romantic dinner. But a bigger salary that can serve as the basis for stability and security? No, no. That's a scar commitment.

We're living in Data World, after all. Not Dating World.

Published on: Feb 14, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.