HR Advice- Be Tough!


For a casual reader of the news,  it can be pretty depressing: riots,  recession,and  multiple monetary crisis at home and abroad, its enough to make you run around like chicken little: “The sky is falling!”

What we can do is toughen up,  at least according to a study referenced in this article at Fortune. I’m attempting to get the actual study for more information but the brief reference in the article provides some insights:

“A team of researchers from several universities tracked a group of students from Minnesota through the ups and downs of their careers starting in 1988, when the study’s participants were in the 9th grade. For this paper, the research team — from the University of Minnesota, Purdue University, and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively — zeroed in on data collected in 2007, before the recession, then in 2009, after it hit. The team found that participants who maintained clear goals and felt like they controlled their employment situation throughout their careers fared better during the downturn.[bold & italics added ] They were better able to keep the bad economy in perspective — they were tough.” – Link

When a crisis hits at work we all know the people that run around trying to get the latest gossip and spend hours speculating on the future of the company.   There is nothing gained with  speculation and gossip, in fact those employee’s become a black hole where all hope of productivity is lost.

Some of the best advice I received while working at a company rife with speculation about acquisition/merger (they were in fact acquired after I left the company) was simple: “Keep doing a great job.”

No,  this advice will not be on Mount Rushmore, but it’s brilliance is in its simplicity.

In this economy  the best advice is to toughen up,  tough it out and keep doing the great job you are doing:

  • Re-think your latest ideas and projects – how will these be affected by the latest economic news and changing consumer behavior?
  • Take a look at other companies in your industry and outside of your industry – who is successful,  who isn’t? what are they doing right,  what are they doing wrong?
  • Take a look at your department/team- can you save money by changing a process?  What causes delay’s in your teams work? find these and relate it to the bottom line, then work to get it fixed!
  • Evaluate your job and your career- where are you at? where are you going? Update your resume and build your network

It’s not easy being green and it’s not easy working in the toughest economy in decades.  Think about how you can add value then work to do that!