Twelve factors which could indicate your employer is in trouble

Working out whether your organisation is at risk of making redundancies can be simply a matter of opening your eyes to factors that are all around you. Ask yourself whether you’ve noticed changes such as these over recent months:

What senior management are doing day-to-day

  1. Day-to-day decisions being delayed – management seem paralysed and unable to move things forward

  2. Major projects that were previously trumpeted as ‘critical to the organisation’ being deferred or put on the back burner

  3. Closed-door meetings – all the conference rooms are booked, you can’t get time with your manager, and doors that would usually be open keep closing

How the business is staffed

  1. A reduction in the number of permanent staff, so that more work is being done by fewer people. Leavers aren’t being replaced, there is less recruitment happening, and leavers are being replaced by contractors

  2. More people leaving and faster – people leaving so fast due to schemes like voluntary redundancy and early retirement, or because they have found new jobs, that leaving parties just don’t happen anymore. Watch especially for the number of salespeople shrinking

Changes in remuneration or expenses systems

  1. Changes to pay policies that remove or delay expected pay rises, or make pay increases dependent much more (or as much) on company  performance than on your own performance

  2. Changes to agreed or advertised bonus schemes, making it more difficult to earn bonuses, or get a bonus paid against previously agreed targets

  3. Changes to expenses policies, tightening up what can be claimed to the point where it feels unreasonable. New procedures that make it much more long-winded to claim expenses

  4. Removal of perks such as discounts on company goods and services

Company culture

  1. Lack of clarity about objectives and mission – there is less attention being paid to business analysis. The company doesn’t seem to stand for the things it used to stand for, customer service is affected and customers have noticed

  2. Managers acting apologetically for no apparent reason

  3. Your gut is telling you something’s badly wrong. We pick up far more signals about situations unconsciously than we do consciously – things like the state of the buildings, or the amount of space in the office are often picked up subliminally – so your gut instinct is very often right.