The economic crisis affecting our country has made headlines because it is part and parcel of a global phenomenon. For once in a long time, we have become global comrades bedeviled by the same challenges and united to find a lasting and common solution. As a matter of fact, the G8 countries even purposed to keep funding flowing into Africa so as to keep programs alive.
When all is said and done, the collective efforts are over-rated. We, as Kenya, still need to derive our own home-grown solutions specific to our challenges. You see, we are not on unfamiliar ground; we have experienced these same challenges under a different guise. We therefore have the benefit of previous experience and lessons learned.
When you take away the global component, you will see that this territory is not so strange to Kenya. For instance, in the early part of this decade, our economy grew at a very slow pace, hardly hitting the two percent mark. Though inflation is much higher than it has previously been, we have registered double digits before. Unemployment was endemic in the 90’s and in subsequent years.
I have been an employer in both tough and easier economic times. There are certain things that I know for sure and my blog this time round is dedicated to helping workers who are worried about keeping their jobs secure. Here are a few simple pointers to guide you in the journey.
Add value to the company
I have often seen employees who are assigned new roles protesting that their job descriptions were being violated. This is not the time to take a hard-line stance. You should be more than willing to sit at the reception and take calls, or get yourself out of the cocoon and give real examples of how the company can cut costs. Demonstrate that you care about the welfare of your company.
Keep off the radar
Unless it is for the right reasons that demonstrate how innovative you are, keep off your employer’s radar. The management is busy worrying about how to keep the company afloat and this is not the time to start pulling stunts such as reporting to work drunk or neglecting duties. In tough times, employees’ personal lives tend to be greatly affected by the same challenges experienced by the company. Do not let your home life spill over and affect your ability to deliver at the workplace. Do not give the manager a reason to fire you under the guise of cost-cutting.
Check your entitlement mentality at the door
This is when an employee is keen to demonstrate that they are worth more than they are receiving. You may have just passed your ACCA’s with flying colours or even been lucky to get a promotion, but this is not the time to start demanding entitlements to match your new status. A pay increase or some other allowance might be good for you, but what the company is more interested in, is its own security. Yes, you can make your request known, but if it is declined or deferred, do not walk around with a chip on your shoulder making it evident that you are grossly unhappy. They say a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. A bad entitlement attitude can create conflict in the office and hinder future chances for growth and progression.
It is a global saying that the only constant thing in life is change. You must embrace changes in your organisation without constantly whining. Nobody likes a grumpy co-worker. Be flexible with your time, availability, added responsibilities, but most importantly, demonstrate that you are making the effort to adapt.
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive. It is supposed to provide you with a few basic tenets to guide you on how to be the model employee that everyone thinks is a high performer and team player, and make it attractive for the company to retain you in these tough times.
Yes, I acknowledge that a big part of life and living is not within our control, but I say to you that you must view the glass as being half-full and prudently manage what is in your hands; yourself.