"There was a number that was never discussed that I can recall and even if it was mentioned, it was pretty much uncelebrated throughout this entire economic hubbub."
There was a lot of fuss over the economy in 2009 and justifiably so. The monthly unemployment numbers kept Wall Street and the world on the edge of their seats and still do for that matter. The market rose and fell because of these numbers. And each month our emotions would rise and fall with them too as unemployment spiraled up from 7 to 8 to 9 and then 10-plus percent.
The televised discussions on how many people were out of work and the effects that this was having on them, home buying and foreclosures were a daily occurrence. The news repeatedly showed long lines of folks waiting to apply to a handful of open jobs. We watched interview after interview with CEOs to line workers who faced unsure futures talking about all that they’d lost and how to survive in such a predicament. It was heart-wrenching and frightening to be sure.
There was a number that was never discussed that I can recall and even if it was mentioned, it was pretty much uncelebrated throughout this entire economic hubbub. And that was any acknowledgements of the thousands and thousands of middle market business owners in every industry in America that chose not to take a salary, a paycheck and/or to forfeit in part or in whole their incomes to keep their employees and their businesses in tact throughout these times. You know who you are, whether your employees do or not. And I suspect in most cases they do not actually know that you did this. They know you are ‘good people’ and that you kept them regardless and they’re happy to be in your employment.
I thank you, every single one of you who did this, as it meant hundreds of thousands fewer people filed for unemployment insurance or stood in those frustrating and frightening unemployed shoes. You stopped the bleeding.
Sure, you have to have some accumulated resources in order to do this but this says good, successful business person loud and clear and yahoo for anyone who is working for one of these businesses, regardless of their current customer demand. They’ll be the first to recover because the owners know how to make and manage money plus they have heart and soul or integrity. Integrity comes through in someone’s management style, in their general personality, in the way they approach their customers, their employees and how and/or the way they do business. Just like fear, anger, ambivalence, frustration and greed does. People are more transparent than they might like to be or even think they are.
Those owners who forfeited incomes made a conscious choice to do so, in order to keep key employees—in essence saying these workers are the foundation of my business and without them, I am nothing. And you, their employee are not easily replaced when things simply get better. They didn’t have to do this and plenty of owners did not. Sure they asked you to make sacrifices, cut hours, pay, benefits or all of the above—just like every other company did. But some rolled these cuts into their pockets with short-term visions and others looked long and played a hard hand for their employees and their future.
For those who put their money on their teams and their businesses: ‘thank you’ because honestly, where would we all be without you?