Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tough Luck

Employees have had it awfully rough this year.

Productivity rates shot through the roof for U.S. workers in the third quarter. That's proof positive that workers are being asked to do more with less.

Most employees are likely doing the tasks of two or three of their laid-off colleagues. Many of them have witnessed those layoffs (always a traumatic event - I've been there) and worry they'll be next.

Well, add to all that injury a new insult: Most employees of small firms also aren't getting raises, bonuses, gifts or holiday parties this year.

My Smart Answers column this week summarizes an American Express OPEN small business survey. It showed that entrepreneurial firms are going to give gifts to their customers this year - as they did last year - but fewer of them will reward employees.

As I said in the interview, I understand that customer gifts are a marketing expense that business owners need to make, but it just seems sad to think that employees will end the year with more bad news.

I applaud the employers who mail nice cards to their customers this year and save a little money for employee bonuses (they don't have to be huge) or a nice holiday party. If your workers have stuck with you through this awful year, don't they deserve some special thanks?


  1. I also think that rewarding your employees is vitally important. It's unfortunate that so many business owners don't have the same mind-set. This year, I plan to give my employees bonuses, as I've done the past two years. I also am proud to say I just gave out raises.

  2. Good for you, Lori - that's fantastic!