Posted in Consulting

Performance in a deep recession

Bunny

Staying in business in a deep recession is no walk in the park. In some sectors of the economy, demands are steadily going down, and as a result many companies are struggling to stay afloat while others are lining up to fill the void and supply those new demands. A business stays afloat by listening to its customers, paying close attention to its target markets, and making sound business decisions. One approach that managers use across the board in a recession entails putting together the right team, which is synonymous in this new normal, to creating smaller, leaner, and high performing units throughout the company. Subsequently, lower demands in a slow economy, bring about inflation. This inflationary period can worsen when there is an overall drop in the Gross Domestic Product for two consecutive quarters. At that point, the economy is officially in a recession. Lay-offs and even terminations become obvious choices for many CEOs. One of the most difficult tasks for any manager or a business owner is to let loyal employees go. Loyalty, in this context, means fidelity by a team player to a working business model. No profitable enterprise in this new and insecure environment would use any capricious and arbitrary standards when dealing with this difficult process if they are to stay in business. To flourish and thrive as a business often requires being on the cutting edge, providing good customer service, and exceeding customers’ expectations. Unfortunately, it also entails making the unpopular decision of cutting down some of your labor costs. A number of employees will witness the first round of lay-offs and terminations and often wonder if they are next. How does a loyal employee protect his/her job? First of all, a good employee should not confuse her good rapport with a supervisor and the owner of the business with loyalty and good performance. You should instead ask yourself the following questions: do I know the goals (e.g., dollar amount – units sold) of my department? Do I know the overall mission of the company I work for? What do I bring to the table? Do I make the company money? Do I go the extra mile to complete a task? Is my performance outstanding? If you answer “Yes” to all those questions, you have more than a 75% chance to being retained by a company during a recession. Don’t get me wrong, office politics goes a long way and is always important. Nonetheless, having the gift of gab and knowing how to play the game may not be enough to save your job. Performance, performance, performance … should be your main focus.

Many thanks to my friend, Bunny for sending me these pics. Besides, her decision to pursue her education and get a BSN in the middle of this crisis, shows initiative. She’s also aware that doctors, nurses, and IT people have been almost unscathed in the Great Recession of 2008. Please feel free to write to me about your trial and tribulation in the worst economic crisis in my life time, since the Great Depression.

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