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We Are Now Beginning Our Descent

Today’s guest post comes from one of my favorite Trench HR professionals out in the Northeast. Richie Coladarci is a certified Senior Professional of Human Resources, currently leading the Human Resource operations at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY.  His previous experience was at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan as the Associate Director of Human Resources and prior, as the Employment Manager.  A leader and advocate for HigherEd HR, he serves Chair-Elect and Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Eastern Region of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).  He also founded the New York Metro Chapter of CUPA-HR and served as its first President from 2008-2009.  He is a regular presenter at the Association’s conferences, and has spoken on such topics as Transformational Change, Employee Relations, and Benefit Communications.
I’d be really interested in hearing some of the other “telltale signs” you (the readers) have encountered along the way…
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“Attention Passengers: We are now beginning our descent” is a familiar phrase to any of us who’ve had the joy of travelling by air. This in-flight announcement marks the end of one journey and often the beginning of another. It also serves the purpose of giving you time to prepare and collect your thoughts for what lies ahead.Unfortunately a descent isn’t always provided with advance notice, even when it’s your own employer who is going down. Much like many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, the reality is that many of the organizations that issue those paychecks aren’t operating all that differently. One terrible quarter, one semester’s under-enrollment, or one failed product launch could mean trouble.So without that announcement, how can know if your company is struggling?

Here are a few signs that should prompt you to dust off your resume and update your dormant LinkedIn profile.

The first is when a payroll is delayed due a “technical problem” or “bank error.” Prepare yourself for a harsh reality – this is a lie. There are cash flow issues.

Another is missed deadlines across the organization. Projects usually have a reciprocal time/money relationship. If there is more money, they take less time. If there is less money…missed deadlines.

There are also subtle signs to look out for. Like when the company attempts to save money by cutting the most minor of expenses. If there is no longer milk in the fridge for your morning coffee, worry.

Finally, a telltale sign is erratic behavior at the top of the organization. If your senior management has already exhausted the rational and calculated options, they’ll likely try to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Trust me, that is going to be one bumpy ride.

Safe travels.

Image Credit: tombothetominator (via Compfight)

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  • Anonymous

    Richie, I have a few more to add to your list:

    *you start to see a lot of people in suits walking around the joint…many of them attorneys and consultants.
    *people stop getting back to you on anything…at all…cuz it just doesn’t matter anymore.
    *there are a lot more closed doors…long meetings where people go in and never come out.
    *there’s a lot more whispering between the rank and file…they know what’s up, believe me.