Turn Around “Crummy Jobs”

Lindsay Blakely wrote a strong article on the “Five Signs You Have a Crummy Job.” Blakely ties her five signs to “recession putting your organization in a chokehold,” but really, we’ve all seen these situations happen in perfectly good companies for a variety of reasons. Three of the signs Blakely identifies can be dramatically impacted by strategic recognition programs used effectively.

Blakely’s Sign 1: “Budget Ax Severs Emotional Ties” and Sign 3: “A Climate of Fear Sets In” are very closely intertwined. It’s true that when costs – and, more importantly, people – are cut due to recession, an acquisition or other reason, the people remaining lose trust in their leaders and in the organization itself. What once may have been a collegial environment becomes suddenly politically charged as everyone looks out for themselves first. By making a smart move to reinvest in a strategic recognition program, company leadership sends a strong message that all employees are valued. Such a move will also help the company once market conditions improve as remaining employees may remain more loyal to the company and less likely to jump ship – a common occurrence when trust is lost in tough times.

Sign 5: “Innovation Comes to a Standstill” is particularly troubling. If the good ideas stop flowing, how will the company outperform competitors and succeed in the market? Companies thinking strategically will certainly reinvest in programs that encourage innovation to take advantage of the downturn to potentially seize market share. Strategic recognition is once again a strong motivator, especially if the program is structured to properly measure and track recognitions by divisions or regions as well as by employee and group. This gives senior management insight into where the good ideas are coming from so more of now scarce resources can be directed in that area.

Leaders, are you taking advantage of this down market to drive your business and advance your employees? Share your tactics for success.

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