With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting businesses and their employees, are you at risk for losing your position or job? After many years with the same organization? This is now the new reality. Loyalty is history!!! Regardless of the state in the USA where one lives, challenges are real. Cannot make rental payments, car payments, health insurance payments and credit card payments? What to do?
When an organization does not produce adequate sales to meet owner expectations, what is the first adjustment that often occurs? New management, consistent with the book examining new philosophical approaches to business, “The Prince” written by Niccoli Machiavelli in1532, is to adjust current circumstances and delete dedicated and loyal employees and hire new individuals who have lesser experience but lower salaries. This approach defined nearly 500 years ago is still active today, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “rules” for surviving this Turnaround Era are the following and include various employment guidelines. There are perhaps five guidelines to avoid employment termination without severance pay. Interested?
What performance areas does your employer deem critical to their business success? Can you define them? When will you be required to demonstrate their chosen skills? Will knowing these required abilities guarantee your future employment? As suggested by Robert Hochheiser, “If You Want Guarantees, Buy a Toaster”! With turnaround agents in charge contracted by original business owners to “save the business”, beware!! Loyalty is history!
Having experienced several position eliminations or terminations during my lifetime I suggest the following may be supportive to your pending elimination from loyal commitment by any organization:
First: Anticipate the unexpected. When changes in attitude by turnaround specialists are different than past management, the consistent decisions made in the past are void. Have you heard the expression “If ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”? Do not believe this is the new turnaround era attitude. It is not the new attitude.
Second: Reinvent work. Matthew Fox suggests in his book “The Reinvention of Work” that a new vision of livelihood is required to effect performance success. It requires individual understanding of the difference between doing work and doing a job. Individuals must be change agents. They must be able to reinvent the way any organizations define work. Challenging the existing organization to change can cause employee termination and loss of income. It is real. Beware!
Third: Be Responsive. The new future era attitude of turnaround requires abilities to communicate effectively. What is your personal awareness of one’s individual inventory of existing communication traits? It is well known that individuals do things for their own reasons, with specific communication behaviors and thinking styles, that cause others to seek your involvement. Everyone prefers to be approached, managed and challenged in their own unique way. Our interaction with another individual either increases or decreases our influence or credibility with that person. Do you know the five major styles of thinking?
Fourth: Commit to Life-Long Learning. The debate over when continued professional learning should continue is the following: Forever!!. For those returning from an absence in a chosen area or using extended studies to augment expertise through scientific or new mental approaches in the real world of “ business turnaround”, each individual must examine the level of mental and moral development that has occurred. As offered by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book “The Evolving Self” and Richard Kegan in the book “The Evolving Self, the evolution of individual consciousness, thinking is considered the most advanced level of conscious development because it centers on self-transformation to meet any new era. The new era is the Turnaround Era. Working in the turnaround era requires an individual to remember William Blake’s words: “Without contraries, there is no progression”.
Fifth: Be Your Own GateKeeper. Richard Bolles, author the “What Color is Your Parachute” talks openly about the box-like nature of our lives and suggests four major issues experienced in an attempt to balance one’s life. His writings offer insight into how to escape the three stage of life (education, work and retirement) and how life-long learning and live-long leisure must be combined to effect a balanced life. Bolle explains that we often elect to assume the role “victim” when challenged with any new era of “turnaround” it actually should be considered an opportunity for Life Work Planning. It is true that luck is a crossroad where preparation and opportunity meet?
Is the turnaround era this crossroad for individual progress?