Q: Right now, my colleagues and I are working in a very demoralising environment. There is a lot of apathy all around following recent sackings. The management does not seem to care about our welfare and behaves as if it did us a favour by not sacking us. How does one make the most of such a situation?
I sympathise with your situation and if I were in your place, I too would be seeking advice on what to do. We all know that jobs are not permanent, employees come and go, but what is most important is how the management leads and releases people when that time comes.
Organisations reorganise their structures every now and then, and those who know and value employees treat leavers well to minimise disengagement of those who stay behind, to be precise, to avoid a situation similar to what you are going through right now. Your managers therefore should be more worried than you, unless of course they are concerned about their jobs too, which may contribute to their poor attitude to your welfare.
Before you succumb to feeling so helpless, remember that in every challenge you face you will always have three options.
The first one is to do something about it. Change your attitude, be grateful you have a job and get down to business, do your work diligently, encourage your colleagues to be positive and shun negative energy and grapevine. Use such moments to demonstrate your value, such that when the next wave comes, you will be top on the list of those who must be retained.
Your second option is to look for someone who can make the situation right. This means raising the concerns you have observed with someone with good influencing skills and share your concerns and expectations so that they can be channelled to the management. Many times people sit and do nothing about a situation that is totally untenable, so take the lead and speak up, and whether your seniors listen or not, you have done something to try and make things right.
Your third option should be about survival. If the first two do not yield the desired result, it is best to start planning your exit. Polish your CV, get out and network, upgrade your skills and look for another job, and when you nail it, exit in a professional manner.