Posted by: Tom Chappell | June 27, 2011

A Look On The Bright Side of Recession

During the recession, most businesses have avoided hiring new employees.  If the existing ranks of employees experienced attritional losses, most of these businesses simply shuffled workload and duties to cover for the employees that left.  The remaining staff shouldered heavier workloads but the job was done.

From this experience, businesses learned that they had been over staffed and that their employee base may not have been giving a 100% effort.  The employees themselves may have also learned how to perform their work duties in a more efficient manner.  In short, business and industry may have found a more efficient and less expensive way to operate.  Many of the jobs that were cut due to recessionary pressures may be gone forever. 

This syndrome has changed my business as well.  We have learned to expect more from our staff.  The slim to nonexistent job market has caused those with jobs to appreciate what they have.  They are demonstrating more enthusiasm for their work, exerting more energy, and better coordination between fellow employees in the performance of their jobs.  And, like so many small businesses, survival during a recession depends upon doing more with less.  After all, when you see your gross revenue shrink, the only way to remain profitable is to operate at maximum efficiency.

Was the recession good or bad for business?  In some cases it has been a learning experience.  They say “necessity is the mother of invention.”  For my business, this has been the case.  Although our gross revenue is off its highs of the 2006 and 2007 peaks, through better management practices, we have remained extremely profitable.  These are efficiencies and lessons that will benefit our company for years to come.

Now we are at a new plateau.  With competitors crippled by the recession, it is time for us to grow.  Recently, we began interviewing for a new generation of employee.  To our surprise, the recession has brought us one more gift.  The demand for jobs is huge.  Through our interviewing process we discovered a wealth of bright young college graduates hungry for an opportunity in business.  They are bright, professional, and willing to work and work hard.  They are very computer literate and their learning curve for their new job is quick and efficient.  All this and at a price that a small business can afford. 

Thanks to the recession, we have found our next generation employee. I guess, for all the misery that recessionary times can cause, you can always find a bright spot.

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