Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"What Kind of Recession Employee are You?"

Writing in The Financial Post, Eric Lam notes the various kinds of employees that exist in the current recession:
See where you fall on the sliding scale of recessionary employee archetypes identified by Douglas Reid, an associate professor of global business at Queen's School of Business, listed below in order of optimism — or cynicism (commentary in italics, to help you along):
  • The Engaged: the core of a company's renewal efforts. They understand the consequences of the recession and what needs to be done to help the business recover. If you fall under this category, you're a better person than most of us.
  • The Delighted: high performers who delight in the improvement in their situation relative to the average consumer via sales and discounts in the marketplace. It's not gloating if you keep it to yourself, apparently.
  • The Indifferent: this group is watching the recession occur and believe it is going to affect someone else. If I don't see it, it's not a recession!
  • The Longers: hoping for a severance package and optimistic they'll obtain rapid alternative employment. Turns out it is possible to be both cynical and optimistic. Go figure.
  • The Fearful: these employees believe they will be cut next. They are ready to search for a new job but cling tenaciously to whatever certainty their existing situation affords. As the poster says, Hang in there, kitten!
  • The Apocalyptic: a small group that believes that the recession presents a necessary "reset" for a myriad list of failures in the existing system of capitalism. Aluminum hats? Not so nuts after all.
  • The Terminated: while not physically present in the organization, their memories linger and affect those that stay. Especially if you leave something in the fridge.
I'd like to think that I'm part of The Engaged, though I don't claim to know what needs to be done to get my company through this recession.  I understand my role, but I'm putting a lot of faith in other people, as well.

In a sense, I'm part of The Delighted.  I'm happy to have a job, though I'm not happy that my relative well-being has increased because the actual well-being of so many has decreased (part of the reason I have little use for such concepts as 'relative well-being').  However, I am confident that my company will weather this recession and come out all the stronger.  As Tom Sweeney wrote, "...I can foresee the need for requirement – on the large scale – once the economy comes back around and starts growing again. The challenge for many will simply to be around once that curve starts to climb."  I'm going to be around for that climb.

As for The Terminated, we definitely have some ghosts in our office.  I don't know when they plan to leave or if we'll need to call in a priest.

So, under what category do my readers fall?

(H/T: Jonathan Chevreau via Recruiting Animal.)

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