How do you feel when your boss puts a 1-to-1 in the diary with no further explanation?
It’s a horrible sinking feeling… but most of the time our fears are unfounded and the meeting turns out to be about something completely non-scary.
Being fired or made redundant can be a horrible experience, especially if it comes as a shock, but being aware of the signs of instability in your employment can help you manage change.
Alper Yurder, UK manager of collaborative workspaces Witco has shared his expert tips for what to look out for that might suggest your job could be at risk. And the warning signs are much bigger your boss saying ‘hi’ to you in a weird tone.
‘The economy shrank in March, and employers are under pressure to combat rising inflation and higher prices,’ Alper tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Unless you’re Boris Johnson, you may risk getting fired.
‘Here are the signs your job might be under threat some and ways to turn things around:’
Alper says being busy – like, really busy – can be a sign that something might not be right.
‘You’re so busy you can’t keep up with the others. That’s because the team aren’t helping,’ says Alper. ‘You may be making uncharacteristic mistakes, because you feel something is wrong, and understandably, you overcompensate by working faster.
‘Yet the harder you work, the less progress you make, and the more errors are made.’
Does this sound familiar? Are you regularly finishing work at 9pm while your boss goes home at 6? Alper says that may be because in your boss’s mind, you’ve already left.
‘A good manager will be working with you,’ he says. ‘They should be supporting you and trying to take the pressure off, rather than putting more on.
‘Now you’re back in the office, schedule a chat with your boss, ask them about your position, agree on your workload and create a plan to help you succeed.’
Do you produce great work, but your team barely acknowledges it – and is your boss’s response muted?
‘That may be because they are wondering if they should be firing you at all,’ says Alper.
‘During this time, expect to get one-line emails demanding status updates, sent from your boss a few feet away. This is poor management.
‘As we return to the office, we should be using the opportunity to interact verbally in person, and encourage each other to do our best.
‘Open up a line of communication with your managers where possible, and be open about how you are feeling.’
‘Meetings may take place without you, and you are not being invited onto new projects,’ says Alper.
‘Are you being included in office banter? When you make a comment, do you see co-workers looking at each other before they respond to you? This might be that they’ve sensed your job is under threat.
‘At social events, are you confronted with turned backs? Do drink circles get tighter as you approach? The best manager should be including everyone here, irrespective of their job performance and should be enabling an inclusive environment at all times.’
A change of atmosphere
If your employer is planning to merge, sell or make redundancies, Alper says it is likely that internal communications teams will be the first non-execs to know.
‘Culture and company vision are closely aligned, and a sudden change in temperature might indicate that roles are due a rethink,’ says Alper.
‘Stay on top of internal communications. Read your emails and understand the motive behind them. If employers see the business going in a new direction – responding to market changes outside of your control – they will start to make changes to company culture and messaging to reflect that.
‘As an employee, take note and see how you align with the new mission. Present yourself as adaptive and take on new responsibilities – if you want them.’
Calm before the storm
Up to this point, Alper says your workload may have been unbearable, but then suddenly, it might drops off completely.
‘Work becomes pleasurable again, and soon you have little to do,’ he says. ‘That’s when to expect the tap on the shoulder, normally on a Friday.
‘Unless you are being fired for a disciplinary offence, your redundancy is often a failure of the management to support you.
‘The return to shared working spaces means there is no excuse for distant, autocratic management. No excuse for failing to empower staff.
‘Your exit is your employer’s loss, and another employer’s gain. Onwards!’
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