Friday, 26 November 2010

Calm before the storm

Welcome to Friday, as office workers around the country think about what wine they will choose tonight and what they are getting up to at the weekend, Executive Summary returns in serious mode. And no, it’s not just because I’ve had my yearly review.

With the month of DecemParty fast approaching, the end of November prompts executives to start considering what the New Year holds in store. After all, we won’t be able to remember much of what happens in the month of gluttony and wild spending.

The financial and bodily detox of January is a sobering thought, and something must be done to motivate executives for another year in media.

November is often when budgets are finalised and reviews completed, so employees minds turn to the promised financial reward for their year’s exploits.

November, not just a month for growing moustaches

Whilst the country has been out of its recession for nearly one year now, companies have not been a speedy in passing on the good fortune to their work force. It obviously pays to remain cautious, but companies in all industries (not just media), are stalling on increasing costs as they wait for the market to recover further.

The recruitment industry, crippled by the recession, is now picking up again, and wise executives are considering their options. Two years worth of stagnant (or even decreasing) pay in real terms may make for a tasty January pay rise given the right role.

The recession allowed quite rightly for businesses to cut costs without too much justification. However, one year on normality has not resumed, and companies are still only looking at the small picture, one week at a time. Those with mortgages and families are still clinging to their jobs petrified with fear that they could lose them. Those higher up the chain have been made to work harder for less reward. It is the lack of transparency in policy and company results that perpetuates this fear with the use of terms like:

‘We’ll have to wait and see how the market pans out’
‘When things recover a little’
‘Strenuous times’
‘Budget freeze’

Companies are using employees' fear against them to increase profitability. If the communication on company performance and budgets were clearer, people simply wouldn’t be scared. They would be able to make informed decisions about their position, their salary and their careers.

The situation stinks, and is not a good way to break for Christmas. Just throwing a few bottles of wine down our necks at Christmas won’t make us forget about it.

Oh no wait

. . . 

 I did say I would forget what happens in DecemParty because of all the boozing.

Oh dear.

Maybe this Executive should start keeping a notebook, or log of all the office based happenings . . .