We are definitely living in difficult economic times. According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from January 2009 through May 2009, we have lost a total of 3.4 million jobs; a staggering average of over 680,000 per month. Why that is like the entire population of Memphis, Tennessee losing their jobs… for 6 months straight. And appropriately we focus on the people behind the job losses. The personal stress, the family concerns, health insurance, retirements, downsizing, mortgages, college funding. All important concepts.
I am not an economic prognosticator, but I don’t believe that we have seen the end of job losses. Heck, GM, Chrysler and the Boston Globe haven’t figured out if they are going to be in business a month from now.
But one area that we really haven’t focused a lot of attention on are those people who are still working. Now what our large corporations have done is cut jobs – that is clear from the BLS statistics. My guess is that they did what they always do and cut way deep. Now, I learned the lesson from a mentor back in my corporate days, that you want to cut deep and cut once to keep morale of the remaining staff as positive as possible. You don’t want your staff to be continually wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and the next round of layoffs is announced. I am not sure that our current corporate leaders learned from the great John McCarron.
Generally speaking, the team that has remained is stressed because they don’t know if their job is next. They feel resentful because they now have to do their work plus that of workers that have left. They feel ashamed to be feeling resentful because they have a job and a paycheck and health insurance. All of this mental stress is not helping our corporations get what they need, which is to start selling, delivering, servicing, writing, producing again.
I have stated it before – someone in Big Corporate America needs to stand up and say that we won’t lay anyone off this year. In fact, we are going to start a limited hiring campaign to ensure that we can still deliver the best products to the marketplace. Now is the time for some American Executive to make his mark. Will it be someone you know?