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September 14, 2009

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Interesting post. It's important to keep current employees engaged and in-tune with the organizations goals after a lay-off. Managers need to over-communicate with staff to let them know they are a valued member of the team and a necessary and vital part of the company's growth or recovery. It may be as simple as an earnest conversation about the company's status and the employees' feeling about the recent transitions. However, in turn, employees should feel grateful to have a job. Even though my company has, fortunately, never had a lay off, I am grateful every day to be employed in this economy. To a certain extent, the onus is on the employees to create a meaningful position within their company.

For those who are unemployed and looking for jobs, it seems that many are worried that competition will incrase because of the millions who are not satisfied with their current jobs, and will begin searching once they perceive the economy to be recovering. This will obviously make things even more competitive.

@Megan: You have a terrific attitude, and this will serve you well during good times - and not such good times. I think people can learn a lot from sentiments like these. Thanks for sharing them.

@Jason: This makes sense, although I've been telling people to stay put until things are MUCH better, not just when they're looking up. The last thing you need is to quit your well paying job to compete with millions of qualified candidates.

Hi Alexandra,

It's fascinating to read this. It tallies with my experience of working with people who've managed to keep their jobs through the recession, but I hadn't seen any research on it.

There was a lot of talk in HR circles on the subject of employee engagement until a year or so ago, when it all went quiet. Sadly it seems to have been seen by many businesses as a nice to have, and they forget that they need to make even more of an effort to engage their staff, not just for their good, but for the long term good of the business.

@Christine: I agree. Doesn't it seem like, across the board, this country focuses more on reactive measures than proactive ones?


I think there will be a lot of corporate America that has the attitude "our workers should be grateful they have a job" and I don't see this changing. While there is a lot of talk about how 'people are our most important resources' - there are very few companies that you can point to that actually 'walk the walk'.

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