Even In Tough Times, Sometimes It’s Best To Move On

by Robert Driscoll on November 11, 2009

dv537022“The same man cannot be skilled in everything; each has his special excellence.” – Euripides, 480-406 B.C.

Today, more than ever, employers are asking their employees to do more.  From a short-term cost-savings perspective, this is great for companies looking to make it through these difficult times in the marketplace.  In the long-term, companies might actually be de-motivating their employees as they feel overwhelmed.  People can be great at one or more things in their professional life, but as their employers start adding more responsibilities to their plate, they could very well just become mediocre as they are spread too thin.

It is understandable for companies to react to changes in the marketplace, whether it’s adding or removing services, consolidating or expanding departments, and so forth.  Too often though, when employers are making these decisions, they forget about their most important asset:  their employees.  A lot of companies state that their people are their best assets, yet more often than not, companies do not look at the person.  Instead, they look at the job to be done and don’t properly match their employees to jobs that optimize their strengths.

In times like this, it is more important than ever for management and their employees to work together and find out what is not only best for the company, but for their employees as well.  Management needs to engage their employees, get their feedback and put them in areas and positions within the company where they can excel and where they want to be.  Nothing demotivates an employee faster and can have a more drastic effect to top line revenues than putting them in to a position that they are not passionate about.  Instead, imagine re-focusing your greatest assets (your people) in areas where they feel they can make the biggest contributions.

In Gini Graham Scott’s book A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses: Dealing with Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, and Other Managers from Hell, she states:

“As they say, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. If your boss is like that round hole and you are that square peg, you aren’t going to fit in unless you re-shape your edges.”

For employees, while we all know that the unemployment rates is above 10% nationally and are continually reminded that there are many highly qualified individuals who would love to have your job, don’t let this bring you down.  If you have brought to your employers attention that your skills could be better utilized in another area and they ignore your request, don’t give in and become complacent.  Employers are always looking for top talent and instead of re-shaping your edges, sometimes it’s best for you to move on and find a place where your talents fit.

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