In 2018, Tesla was marked to lay off approximately 37000 workers. Now, for huge businesses, almost every activity seems big, so layoffs are often expected to have a huge impact. With the emergence of the Personal Computer, IBM’s cash cow, the mainframe, was obviously becoming unpopular. Having being affected, the company was forced to relieve about 60,000 staff in the early nineties.
If you are an employee of any company and you hear of layoffs, even in another company, you sit well. You thus become uncomfortable, especially if it is happening in your industry. Layoffs are scary, but they do occur. “Should every employee prepare for that moment where they will be called to the HR office, appreciated for their commitment so far and given a letter for their exit?”
When Hewlett-Packard downsized, about 10% of their employees were directly impacted. The companies I have cited had very unique reasons for the layoff. The purpose of this material is not to analyze these reasons, but to make you appreciate the fact that you are not part of those statistics.
In Ghana, the banking crisis was coupled with many job losses. Recent happenings with COVID-19, has affected many companies; media houses, hotels, stationary companies, and the list is actually endless. Thus, if you still have your job and getting paid, even if you have a pay cut or your salary is not consistent because of the times we are in, you certainly have to be grateful that you are not part of those being laid off with all forms of terminologies.
If your employer is to make a choice between who stays and who gets the redundancy, what can you do to ensure that you are still engaged in your role?
- Know where your bread is buttered
Your salary may not be enough as you want, but you have to be grateful; no one’s salary does all the magic. A positive attitude permeates through the work you deliver. When you drop that entitlement mindset, you will realize that you begin to place premium on the opportunity to still be engaged to receive a salary, whiles others have been given the boot.
Now, a lot of things can take your attention. However, ensure that you do not take your focus off your job; this is where your bread is buttered. This is certainly not the time to be idling about when you should be working, and hence be giving excuses of not being available for physical or online meetings.
Are the ‘other activities’ you are spending time on paying you as much as your job? If they are, perhaps you are better off quitting your employment to pursue them, so others can have the privilege you have now; you save everyone the stress. No business owner employs anyone to pursue their own ‘passion’. So as you currently have a job, don’t find ways to navigate around to chase a hobby or do less productive things which do not pay the bills.
- Speak your manager’s language
If your attitude seems to be opposing management, you may be served with a letter soon. If you have been consistent at displaying gross opposition and have had your way around it, certainly not this time, your boss is hot; you may be fired. The company does not exist to advance an individual worker’s interest. If you were not hired as a consultant or director, advisedly do not assume that role. You may not understand the vision of the company better than your managers and directors. Cease proposing that they are all getting it wrong.
Pay attention to your job description and the deliverables expected of you by your line manager or supervisor and show results. Excuses and arguments will be a catalyst for Human Resource to edit a letter in your name.
- Give it some umph
Multi-tasking looked like a special skill before, but that is no longer the case. Today’s front desk executive has to be sophisticated to still be in their role. You cannot be the regular personal assistant or executive in today’s work set up. Your ability to deliver on your role, learn and add on to the roles will increase your tenure in your office. Some permanent staff are being laid off for security persons to double up with their role.
Don’t sit idle, when you spot an opportunity to serve in your company, rise up to it. For instance, if a colleague is on leave and hands over to you, your performance should be such that, that colleague even feels insecure to go on leave or hand over to you. I see you smiling here. You need to be multi-dimensional, being one sided all the time will make you sack yourself; it is an own goal!
- World Cup
Your job should mean everything to you now. Many qualification matches are played before a country is selected to play at the FIFA World Cup. Not all players are chosen to join the main squad to play for their country; infact getting to be on bench is even an achievement.
Imagine Ghana qualifies for Qatar 2022, which we will God willing. Picture the poise or commitment of the 11 or 22; the determination, drive and persistence. Consider the selfless attitude of team effort and dexterity that players will exhibit to ensure that the cup possibly comes home, which we will surely win. Eeermm, don’t you think so? It is with this same philosophy that you have to approach your job in these tough times. Be concerned as if you are the Director of the board; take the job as a personal one.
Give your owners no reason to have a discussion on possibly making you redundant, considering you for the next world cup instead or just making you play gutter to gutter. Your job should be your ‘world cup’.
>>>The writer is a corporate trainer and professional ghost writer assisting busy executives to write and publish their books, articles, and speeches. He has served as Head of Protocol at a diplomatic mission, Corporate Affairs Officer at a French multinational agribusiness and as Events and Media Correspondent for a digital ad agency. You can contact the author via: [email protected] or [email protected]