Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Seven Habits of Recession-Era Employees

The Fearful, The Delighted and The Apocalyptic, among those identified by new Queen's School of Business research

KINGSTON, ON, Nov. 11 /CNW/ - On-the-job employee behaviours in recessionary times can be grouped into seven categories, each with attendant challenges and distinct management requirements, according to new research from Queen's School of Business.

According to Douglas Reid, Associate Professor of Global Business at Queen's School of Business, employees in recession-era workplaces typically fall into the following behaviour patterns:

- The Terminated: while not physically present in the organization,
their memories linger and affect those that stay.

- 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.

- The Indifferent: this group is watching the recession occur and
believe it is going to affect someone else.

- The Delighted: high performers who delight in the improvement in
their situation relative to the average consumer via sales and
discounts in the marketplace.

- 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.

- The Longers: Hoping for a severance package and optimistic they'll
obtain rapid alternative employment.

- 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.

"Managers encounter a wider range of on-the-job behaviours than simple economic reasoning predicts," says Professor Reid. "Relying on fear as a management tool is as poor a choice during a recession as it is during a boom."

Survey: Queen's Executive MBAs Weigh In

On a related note, a recent survey of over 250 managers enrolled in executive MBA programs at Queen's School of Business reveals that while half of the respondents (48 per cent) feel an increase in employment would be the strongest sign of recovery in their country, only one third (36 per cent) believe that their company will add employees over the next six months.

"Nervous employers want to ensure that the recovery is firmly established before adding to their workforce," says Professor Reid. "But employers also need to recognize that engaged employees will be the core of any organization's renewal efforts."

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