Lay offs are in the air again at my company. Not to mention, things have slowed down significantly in my own job duties. I’m stagnating in my department and I’m no longer getting work from the creative department. Right now everything is screaming at me that it’s time for me to leave. It doesn’t feel right yet – and no, that isn’t the fear of change talking – but that’s another conversation for another day.
Anyway, despite the smiles and encouraging meetings saying how WELL the company is doing and how STRONG we are, I am noticing small inconsistencies with these statements.
1. Remodeling seems more like cutting the fat.
They’ve repainted the walls, sure. Bathrooms seem to be more organized. But I’m not seeing a whole lot of remodeling actually happening. The carpet is the same, the break room looks the same, the desk layout is the same. Pretty much everything is the same. Except books, artwork, and excess furniture are given away to employees as well as donated.
It might just be a slow process, but it just doesn’t seem right to me.
2. Layoffs are happening.
I feel like this is the most obvious sign. Worse is when layoffs happen without some big depressing meeting to follow. Just the other day, two employees were let go right after a meeting that spewed (false) uplifting messages about how well the company is doing and how this year will be a great one.
The people let go were directly related to dealing with clients and if the clients leave that means more lay offs will happen.
3. Key people are leaving.
Since this year began, the revolving door quality of the company has slowed down a bit, but I noticed a couple of key people have left for new opportunities. According to IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), one of the signs a company is going under is high level employees have started to leave.
The most notable person leaving is a guy in human resources who usually has the most positive attitude and engaging quality. No, he’s not a manager, but still, he’s definitely not someone I would have expected to leave.
4. There aren’t many new clients coming in.
If I recall correctly, in the most recent company meeting, the main boss stated that we need to start pursuing the “big clients” and that smaller clients require way too much effort for little return. It makes sense to me from what I understand about things. But I don’t see the company I work for getting new clients like this. They aren’t getting high revenue generating clients these days. In fact, from the clients they do have, I am noticing more and more reduced budgets and spending.
5. When one big mouth takes vacation, you can see how quiet things really are.
You know that person in the office that always seems to generate noise? That no matter where they are, conversations bubble upon around them like new spring flowers. Well, just let that person take a vacation and suddenly things are dead as a doornail. The office doesn’t seem nearly that busy any more.
I feel like this is one small sign. It isn’t a big one but it flies in the face of a bubbling percolating business. It tells me that they know how to hire and encourage the right personalities so things SEEM busy.
Like I always say about my insights, this may just be me. Also I really think it only takes one time of being laid off to be cautious and hypersensitive about it happening again. I’m also certain that the company won’t go under overnight and that it takes time for things to happen (boil a frog slowly metaphor anyone?). But no one’s job is secure no matter what the reports say about economic growth and no matter how many encouraging meetings my company has.
What are signs that you’ve noticed about a company going under?