Tag: Employee Satisfaction

Reprint: The Benefit of “Laid Off”

Reprint from 2010

Andre Reprint: The Benefit of Laid Off

So about the title… umm you just got laid off, through no fault of your own. It can be difficult to sit on the other end of a desk. The supervisor or person who you feel might as well be holding a gun to your head to keep you from reaching over and slapping them for saying, “this is nothing personal.” Well guess what, they are wrong. While dissolving of a position or reduction of workforce may be a business decision, it is very personal, for the people giving the news and the individual receiving it. It is easy to list a few of the many disadvantages; the packing of personal or company items (for you thieves) with or without security, the walk to the car, the oh so long drive on the way home to think about what has just happened, the breaking of news to the family and then the subtle but daunting task of searching for a new position.

So what could possibly be the benefit that comes from losing, for what many of us is, our only source of income? What great things could be hidden in this process for the HR person delivering the news? Few would agree that there are any benefits, yet believe it or not there are. There are even more benefits now then there were even a few years ago. Having a good breakfast and calling other unemployed friends are not among the reasons I am discussing, although pretty damn good and funny!

For HR:

  • It’s a chance for HR to make the company look Humane. Being in the room for a lay-off with the manager and employee is not something any of us wants to be apart of often but it is one task that can come with the job. You have a chance to show what gratitude there may be for the employees service and help in retaining the brand of your company. The last thing you want is for the person to have a bad experience, echo it out to the world through twitter and the blogosphere and set you up as a bad guy, ultimately leaving a bad impression on any future candidate that you want to hire for that same position after the righteous company comeback (did I just say “that same position” oops). We, HR, can be perceived as the good people for a change!
  • Performance issues. Have to be careful here but, let’s face it, not all supervisors do a good job in effectively giving performance reviews. The good and bad  is not always outlined. But regardless of who is at fault, if there were issues with the employee/employer relationship, reduction in workforce is an easier argument to have and a much quicker conversation. Especially in this economy.
  • More quiet time. Fewer employees mean fewer grievances, reduced visits to your office and request for the “private talk” about ones supervisor and/or boss. OK, this is not really a good argument, but you have all thought about it haven’t you? Why be afraid, admit it.

For the Unemployed:

  • Family Time. The maximum benefit would be the time you spend with your family and friends. You can become even closer with the extra time you are spending together. Let’s face it, your kids, significant other and people who are most important to you will never say, “Dang you should have spent more time at work.”
  • Regenerate/Reflection. If you are like me, there is never enough time in the day. If you are currently not working, you often feel like you have more work to do then you did when you were working. In this time away, you can now take the time to get to know another side of yourself that you have not experienced in awhile. You take the time to discover what that side is.
  • Reevaluate life and career goals. Why Not Re-Evaluate Your Career Path Choices? Nuff said.
  • Unemployment Benefits. No longer are there long lines at the unemployment office. The unemployed can now handle everything online (that is if they can still afford internet access). Don’t quote me but the max you can receive on an unemployment claim is around $452, given you make more than $900, give or take. There has been talk of an added benefit under the new administration prolonging benefits for an added 13 months as well as an increase in benefits for up to $25 to those who qualify. You scoff, “Ooh a whole $25 extra.” Yeah you are laughing now but an extra $25 can go a long way in tough times.
  • Retraining. Yes, if you need an upgrade in certifications, knowledge or skills; there is potential to receive added funds. Only to those who quality and ask.
  • Other possible benefits: Refinance or Modification of a Mortgage Loan (check with your bank), Return the school, etc.
  • Excuses to be cheap. When people ask for change, asking to cover the tab, or donations; you actually have a good excuse to be cheap!

This is a simple and brief list. Some of these were meant to help you laugh to keep from crying but there are real ways to deal and even recover from reduction in force. While difficult, a lay-off can end up being the bridge between the move from a potentially bad situation to better one, for both the employee and/or the employer.

46221.strip.sunday Reprint: The Benefit of Laid Off

Compensation, Pay Raises and Becoming a CEO

Ways to increase your pay Compensation, Pay Raises and Becoming a CEOTreatment versus Perception

I got sucked into a conversation. It was around an associates belief that ‘companies’ don’t treat people well. This kind of made me think and wonder. Wonder because it came out of the blue. It also made me wonder because it was such a broad and sweeping statement with no real specifics. Being a representative of OE and HR I treaded lightly. I swallowed and asked “Why do you feel that way?” Fearfully waiting for the answer and trying not to rebut or question their response.

The Statement

I haven’t received a raise in over 3 yrs.They started to go on a little deeper into the subject. Knowing we were in public and others could view the conversation differently I made the comment “Let’s get into the details a little later.” Another person came in and said, “Only 3 in 8 years… and why am I still there…?”

That is a good question. I thought “Then why are you still there? If you don’t like the way you are “being treated” in the form of compensation and what you view as an adequate increase and/or wage, then you should leave right?” But of course I didn’t say anything. After that last comment no one went any further.

The reality about compensation for the now

No one wants to question or complain too much to their supervisors because they know there is nothing much to be done. There is also that fear and thought “I better be thankful for a job.” Which has never been a thought I have agreed with for other reasons outside of the compensation debate.

Of course you can ask for a raise and do it in a way that you may receive it (“10 Tips for getting a raise in a recession” CNN.com). I am all for cost of living wages. Especially if a company is doing well regardless of economic times. I am all for performance based pay. Even more selfishly (in the galactic playground of insanity that is my mind) I’m for a raise in any case because we all would like more money whether or not we deserve it, performance based or otherwise. However, I am also a realist. No matter how much we would like to have a raise, the reality is that not all of us will get one.

Just realize that you can leave if you don’t like it. You could also find yourself at a new company with a not so new situation: No increases.

I am about to seem harsh

Yes you may feel like you are not treated well by a company because you have not received a raise. You have the right to that opinion. The real question is: Are you being treated badly because you haven’t received a raise?

Here’s the thing, many people have not received increases, This is sad. However, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Get over yourself. If you don’t like this, look elsewhere… or become a CEO. Good luck either way!

How do you feel about this subject?

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in compensation. I would love to receive raises every year and feel that many people do deserve them. Then again, you have to make sense of your perceptions about treatment, your own contribution, and the realities of the market. Just feeling like you are OWED a raise, is not the same as EARNING/DESERVING as raise.


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