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Heed signs you’re on a sinking ship

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in Dealing with Bosses,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Management

A reader called us to ask, “Should I start job hunting? My company is scaling down longtime perks like free coffee. Even the water coolers are now unfilled. Am I overreacting—or should I flee while I can?”

It depends. Many companies eliminate perks during a downturn, but that doesn’t mean layoffs come next. The best employers level with workers. Apply these tests to weigh whether to stand by your firm:

1. The company informs workers of its latest financial results. Management should explain the numbers and what they mean. By comparing last year and last quarter’s results and analyzing expenses and market share, you can at least understand the financial realities your bosses must confront.

2. Everyone takes a hit. If senior executives take a pay cut or the company bans first-class travel, that should reassure you you’re not first in line to go.

3. There’s precedent for belt-tightening. If your firm undergoes a predictable seasonal downturn, stay put for now. But if it’s facing an uncharacteristically severe cash crunch, that’s cause for alarm.

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