Tag Archive | "Unemployment"

Tags: downsizing, extra hours, fear, long-term, motivation, overtime, paradox, perspective, productivity, promotion, replacement, stagnation, Unemployment, workload

The Invisible Promotion

Posted on 06 February 2011 by Brucellus

The past 2-3 years has seen increased tightening of the Swiss labor market, a process that began with the opening up of Switzerland to EU labor. With the drastically increased pool of labor and the contractions or stagnation in key economies,  unemployment has been high by Swiss standards (4% – 5%) and salaries have stagnated.
 
An unwelcome result has been an increased workload for those who survived cuts and downsizing.  This is the world of the ‘invisible promotion,’ where you keep your job but have to do as well a part of your fired colleague’s or dismissed boss’s.
 
Productivity is high, thanks to unemployment. Across Switzerland, managers and staff now shoulder duties from laid-off managers and peers or positions that were eventually to be filled but probably won’t be.  The extra work means extra headaches and longer hours, but little or no extra money.
 

The piling-on of responsibilities is at an all-time high.  Employees who find themselves in such a situation often have difficulty working up the courage to ask for recognition for the work they are doing,  either a promotion and raise to recognize the additional work and responsibility undertaken, or a splitting up of the extra work among several people.
 
Though many people fear risking their supervisor’s wrath in an environment where jobs are still scarce, almost a third of employers say they’re willing to discuss raises with employees this year, according to a recent survey released in December. The percentage rises to over 40% for business-services and IT companies.
 
If you want to build a case for a real promotion instead of an invisible one, you need a strategy.
 
First, objectively document how you’re contributing, whether that is by bringing in more money or saving it.  Even if you’re not in sales,  your work or your ideas may have impact on increasing revenue.   Employees who consistently find unusual value for the company are always appreciated and retained.
 
Second, have a sense of timing. Being sensitive to the organization’s own pulse is critical.   
 
Then bring solutions to your boss, even including a staffing analysis.  Making things look easy is a good strategy. Act like you’re not tired, worn out, and angry,” even if you are. To keep one’s team engaged and motivated use appreciation, openness, respect – lifestyle gimmicks like work-from-home Fridays can be very effective, allowing staff to wear pajamas or spend an extra hour with their kids, and taking some of the pressure off those ‘invisible promotions,’ making them a little less stressful.
 
There are a few way to make that ‘extra work’ work for your career in the long run :
 
Prioritize: work with your manager to understand what your role is now that so-an-so is gone and not to be replaced any time soon, what the key results are, and which are the most important elements.  An important thing to cover is determining which tasks can be eliminated  (even if they once seemed important).
 
Ask for training or — if relevant — coaching.  In you the responsibilities that have been foisted upon you, you may need to develop new management techniques to handle the new tasks.  To succeed, you have to figure out what skills you need and then get your management to buy into the training; they need to see that it’s cheaper than hiring someone else.
 
Fill the holes in your résume.
You may not have asked for the job, but now you need to prove that you can keep it.
If you’re in a context wehere everybody has an MBA but you don’t, then you’d probably  better sign up for that Saturday-morning program.
As with any new change in job description, one needs to take a hard look at one’s skill set and make sure one has what it takes.
 
Establish a time frame.   If your employer is now adding a huge extra load to your job, you have to hammer out some kind of agreement about the expectations and the time frame. 
 
If you find yourself with a bunch of new responsibilities dumped on you, make a case for your promotion.  Be clear that you want to move up — and that you see that as good for the department and the company/organization too.
Alternatively, if you want to return to a lower level, think up a plan to make that happen.  
 
If these strategies don’t work, look around for another job.  But in the interim, try to stay appreciative of what you have.

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Tags: bilateral agreements, criminality, european community, jobs at multinationals, professional workforce, social disturbances, swiss economy, swiss tax, swiss-based companies, tax advantages, Unemployment

Multinationals Reconsider Switzerland

Posted on 25 January 2010 by Steven

swiss_economy_downAccording to a SwissHoldings survey conducted in 2009 across 80 of the largest multinational groups operating in Switzerland, there is considerable anxiety and uncertainty over the degradation of working conditions and ‘standard of living’ in general.

The erosion of banking secrecy is no the only illness affecting the health of the Swiss economy. Switzerland is also suffering from a variety of other problems, some of which of such a serious nature that many multinationals are re-examining the advantages of remaining in Switzerland.

Criticism is rising concerning the different tax regimes in operation in the different cantons, which compete to attract the multinationals and foreign holding companies.

This loose federated system is under attack by the European Union, of which Switzerland is not even a member; the EU considers it to be unfair competition.

The companies surveyed evinced anxiety over the uncertainty over the political direction Switzerland will take. The Swiss only narrowly voted for bilateral agreements with the European Union permitting the free flow of workers into Switzerland from any EU country, and the integration into the Schengen space. The result has been a stark degradation in the employment market, as well as precipitous rise in criminality and disorder. In all the major Swiss cities, open air drug dealing and violent crime has risen sharply, prisons and police forces are overwhelmed, and at the same time real-estate prices and rents have exploded as Switzerland welcomed 300,000,000 potential buyers onto its market. Previously, Switzerland’s laws forbid the acquisition of property by nonresidents.

Multinationals have often chosen to set up their European headquarters in Switzerland not only for tax advantages but for the standard of living it offered its expatriates — a major selling point in its global recruitment efforts. The decline in living standards, along with overcrowding, housing shortages, regular traffic jams, rising criminality and other social problems previously unknown here, are causing companies to reconsider their presence here.

A change in the tax structure may just be the last straw. Finance Minister Hans Merz (who was responsible for the UBS bailout) has proposed instead of changing the regime of cantonal prerogatives in taxation, to rather appease EU concerns by proposing to abolish or modify the statutes regulating domiciled or holding companies. The cantons would be forced to raise their taxation of these types of companies. The Swiss government has been doing a lot appeasing of foreign governments over the past year. In Switzerland the Federal government (following almost a Chinese-style model) is not elected by the people.

SwissHoldings director Peter Baumgartner laid particular stress on the fact that the large international companies are seeking ’above all a legal and fiscal stability,’ and that this stability is absent in Switzerland.

However the current problems affecting international companies based in Switzerland go beyond potentially shifting tax structures –which well-paid accountants have always been able to navigate– and overlap with the current problems facing almost every other Swiss citizen: and these problems, extensive in nature, will require a major change in direction of Switzerland’s currently mismanaged foreign policy and economy.

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Tags: luxury industries, luxury watch, swiss economy, Unemployment, unemployment switzerland

Swiss Labor Market Remains Tense

Posted on 07 December 2009 by PCT

swiss_labourThe Swiss employment market continued to deteriorate in the 3rd quarter with some sectors of the economy struck harder than others. The most jobs were lost in the luxury industries and watch making sector with the unemployment rate skyrocketing nearly 300% in a period of 12 months. Also the number of unemployed increased by roughly 150% over the same 12 month period. Workers in energy and real estate saw the number of their unemployed double over the past year.

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Tags: cartier, chomage, downsizing, franck mueller, gerard perregaux, job loss, job vacancy notices, job websites, jobs, jobs switzerland, layoff, layoffs, luxury brands, micromechanics, nicholas hayek, recession, richemont, roger dubuis, Unemployment

Luxury Brands Reduce Staff

Posted on 12 April 2009 by Papessa

luxzury_brandsThe luxury and watchmaking industries are undergoing some strong setbacks from slowing orders and several luxury brands have begun letting go employees. Top companies already began shedding jobs last autumn. Nonetheless, as often happens in downturns, some companies are also hiring as well. The paradox is that companies look at the business downturn as an opportunity to better optimize the company competitive position, firing less performing staff and hiring others. Continue Reading

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Tags: Unemployment

Switzerland Sees Slow Job Growth Ahead

Posted on 02 November 2008 by ThomasP

According to diverse institutes and Swiss research centers, Switzerland will enter recession in 2009. The Créa – a macroeconomic institute based in Lausanne — is predicting growth of –0.6% for 2009. The Créa analyzed the deceleration of the economies in the USS and continental Europe and concluded that if emerging economies have so far avoided the consequences of the global financial crisis, they will not continue to do so for long.

Their opinions are not unanimously shared. The BAK and the KOF are predicting anemic growth of .7% and .3% respectively. The Seco – the federal government’s organism – has predicted growth of ‘less than 1%’. Credit Suisse analysts are predicting growth of roughly 1%, and UBS analysts say that growth in Switzerland in 2009 will be roughly 0.2%. (Whatever growth there may be, all commentators agree that is unlikely that UBS will contribute anything to it.)

The Swiss economy will take a big hit in 2009, say analysts, due to strong drops in exports, as well as to the inexorable rise of the Swiss franc, as flight from less fiscally reliable currencies creates a run up in the national currency. The decline in exports and the ensuing decline in company order Seco Building Switzerland

books is likely to result in more unemployment and less consumer spending, meaning that jobs in Switzerland may be fewer and work may be less well paid.

Pundits say that the economy will not return to health until 2010, when growth is expected to rise above 0.5% and job growth should recur (the BAK predicts 1.7% growth for 2010). The optimism for 2010 is partly attributed to the Swiss Federal Government’s generous gift of more than $60 billion of public money to UBS, to stave off their bankruptcy and prop up their ledgers, in return for which the public will have a claim on just under 10% of the Bank’s stock should they return to health.
Economists and commentators are deducing that if the Federal Government is willing to hand over in cash about 20% of the entire market capitalization of UBS in return for 10% of the stock, this must mean that Swiss government is willing to spend prodigally to get the country out of the crisis.

The other signs that are encouraging analysts is the real estate market, which has so far been largely spared of a large speculative bubble, and Swiss industry.
The same analysts now conclude that the financial sector, which previously provided a large percentage of work in Switzerland, will decline to roughly 2% of Swiss jobs by the end of next year. For the Lausanne – Geneva axis, the BAK predicts a growth of 1.9% this year and 0.7% in 2009. According to the same analysts, jobs in the luxury watch industry will continue to grow due to new demand from emerging economies, though the growth will be less dramatic than the double digit growth experienced over the preceding years.

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