September 24, 2009
Does your department need a morale boost?
I hear the same stories over and over from friends, readers, and people I've interviewed during the past year. If it's not the rumor mill and the uncertainty about holding onto their job, it's the sadness, frustration, and brain drain of having to get more work done with fewer resources after their employer has laid off a sizeable chunk of their co-workers.
"In January, my boss cut my hours by 20 percent," said one friend who works for a small marketing firm. "By April, I was back to my regular full-time schedule. In July, I had to drop down to four days a week again. It's been such a roller coaster."
"Management told us to hang tight while they work out the details of the company being sold," said another friend who works for a midsize firm. "They told us, 'Nose to the grindstone, business as usual, blah blah blah.' Well, I'm making it my business to look for another place to work. I'm not sticking around long enough to watch heads roll, not if I can help it anyway."
I'm guessing this isn't exactly the morale my pals' employers were hoping for. But what's the answer? How do managers keep their people enthusiastic about their jobs when the organization itself is coming apart at the seams?
Business networking group PRforPeople is hoping to offer concerned business owners, managers, and employees some solutions. On Thursday, October 1 at 4 p.m., industrial psychologist Dr. Robert Fallis will lead the group in a discussion called "Rev Up the Workforce" on keeping morale high in the face of fiscal adversity. The event will be held at at Queen Anne's Bustle Cafe.
According to PRforPeople, this won't be some "let's all hold hands, breathe deeply, and mediate on thoughts of 500 percent revenue growth" hippie fest. Instead, Dr. Fallis will offer concrete tips on managing change, setting goals, and increasing the lines of communication between management and staff.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail Patricia Vaccarino.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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