Where is the "deadwood"? What do MT'ers think, are today's high unemployment numbers simply a fact of "Race don't Chase" or because too many managers are letting their team down by not developing them so they can step up!

I was talking to a senior manager about the recently released U-3 and U-6 employment numbers. This manager said "Many companies have used this downturn to get rid of a lot of dead wood". I have heard this phrase many times.

I considered his comment a conversation killer, and there was a long moment of silence. As an MT disciple, what I heard was, managers were not confident/competent enough to do their jobs and give feedback to low performers when times were good, and they let the low performers drag the company down. These same managers might have been laid off themselves, since they could not get their teams to deliver results that made the company successful.



rgbiv99's picture

On the other hand, I know a lot of people who work at companies that had layoffs and they report that way too many people were let go or that the WRONG people were let go (one of my friends said her company laid off the only person who knew how to use their website management software. Duh.).

As a result, they and others are stuck doing the jobs of 2 or 3 people. The consequence is mounting stress, dissatisfaction with the company, low morale, poor work product (since there isn't enough time in the day to get everything done or done well, at least), and ultimately, those who are left are looking to leave their companies the minute the economy turns around. Trade-offs ... trade-offs ...


jhack's picture

The unemployment rate is due to many factors, including structural changes in the economy (autos, energy, and media), fiscal and monetary policy, the crisis in the credit markets, and managerial decision making.  

Yes, companies should have the right talent developed.  They should have the right product, in the right places, at the right price.  This stuff is hard to do.  If customers don't want to buy your product, you have to cut back.  Most employees and managers aren't in a role where they decide what markets to pursue with which products.  

Would a well-run company do better?   Sure.  Will a poorly run company execute layoffs poorly?  Almost surely.  But the current economy is not simply the result of poor management.  

John Hack

bug_girl's picture

It's too easy to say it's due to mismanagement.

In some counties in my state, unemployment is >26%.  That's depression level.  Nearly every company and the state has a hiring freeze. Layoffs continue.  At a certain point, the wheels just come off.   Some of us will be here for a long time, regardless of our talents or management style :(

It's very hard to be a good manager when this is happening all around you.
Heck, It's very hard to be a good manager under any circumstances!!

I'm focusing on keeping my staff employed, right now--I'll let the historians figure out what went wrong with the perspective of 10 yr. hindsight.

Also, I encourage those of you who hunt (season starts soon!) to consider purchasing extra permits and donating venison to your local food bank.  Food bank donations are down, and are increasingly important for families on the edge.