Do employers capitalise on uncertain job markets?
Sadly, yes. In an ever consistent trend dating back since pre-GFC, many companies are using market uncertainty as a basis to hold back from increasing staff numbers and/or improving remuneration and benefits for existing staff. This in turn has seen organisations freezing recruitment, increasing job loads of existing staff, and often expecting staff to work additional hours (often without extra pay). Commonly, bonuses are also being heavily restricted, and annual pay rises benchmarking less than inflation rates.
Case Study: John, a married man, 45 years old, 2 kids, a mortgage, and works as an IT Engineer for ### Engineering Ltd.
When John first applied for the position as IT Engineer, he was told how the company put their staff first, and it’s the staff that build the business. Although this wasn’t the ideal job he had in mind (his resume and skill set was a little over qualified for the role), the market wasn’t that great, and John had bills to pay.
However, he took the role knowing this maybe the only opportunity for a while.
After 6 months, the company announced they were consolidating resources. John’s senior manager left, and wasn’t replace. John was expected to cover for the Manager’s role. For the next 6 months,
John continued to cover for the extra work with only some limited casual help being made available. By the end of the first year, John was working until 7:00pm each night, was spending less and less time with his kids, and was way too tired to enjoy his weekends to the full.
John therefore, was stuck in an extremely difficult predicament. Over worked, underpaid, and unable to move jobs for the time being.
Now let’s say ### Engineering Ltd suddenly win a few contracts, and improve their cashflow. Do you think they will repay John for his loyalty and commitment during tough times? Will John move on once the market picks up?
At this is a fictitious scenario, this can play out in multiple ways.
Worrying though, many organisations that are now finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel i.e. returning profits and sales that reflect a growing business; are not rewarding and/or recognising the sacrifices made by others during tough times. This ultimately results low staff morale, and no sense of loyalty or commitment to the business.
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