‘Our employees are our biggest asset.’
How often have your heard this proclamation by CEO of big corporation in their company annual dinners or official function? And when the company is getting into trouble and need to restructuring, one of the first few “assets” that must go will be their biggest asset; i.e. their employees, how ironic, but it always happens. Laying off a certain numbers of employees has become the perfect cure for most ailing companies. After all, when the company is back to normal, they can always recruit much better, more qualified employees with a lower pay.
This formula seems to work most of the time if not all the times. The credit crunch that affected the world financial as well as many other business sectors have not short of stories on employees being retrenched just to let the company survive through this tough time.
The business world changes so rapidly that if you are being complacent with what you are doing now and believing that by satisfactorily fulfilling your obligation and work under your job function, you will be in a rude shock when the companies are looking for employees to lay off. Most companies today using Key Performance Indexes (KPI) to judge the performance of their employees, and many of these KPI are looking for generalist rather that specialist. Which means that you need to have multitasking skill and capability. The day of specialization has been long gone with the technology age.
Most employees and believe me tend to work hard to accomplished their daily tasks and hope for an increment and perhaps a bonus at the end of the year. While they have increased their earning by having a job well done, but they fail to increase their earning capability; which means that what they do is what they only knew, anything further than that, they would be lost. That makes them a perfect target for retrenchment when the company needs restructuring
The way to avoid such an unpleasant situation is always improving yourself outside your scope of duties; learn something new on your own accord without being told. Apply your new found knowledge and skill to your job and work smart. If your current employer did not notice it, their competitors will. In additional to learn something new related to your job, you may learn something totally different from your work to increase your competency rather than just capability. Your choice of employment will be wider than your peers who just stick to their own field.
Always remember to increase your own value first before other people start value you.