The recession has resulted in a sea change in the way we approach our jobs
09 February 2011
After being out of the workplace for the majority of 2009, I returned in early 2010 to what was a vastly different working environment. There were subtle changes. The fridge was full of packed lunches as my colleagues resigned themselves to dining out less. Less subtle were the changes in technology. New words had entered the vernacular. I was suddenly struck by two new ways to communicate and do business, through LinkedIn and Twitter.
But the atmosphere was the main element that was vastly different. There was a new focus in how we approached doing business. What had dominated my working career until that point, which covered the majority of the Celtic Tiger era, were questions on how we would manage the workload. Now the main question was - how will we drive workload?
No company operating in the current environment is any different. Larger indigenous companies have become less and less dependent on Ireland, diversifying to identify new markets. Many employees, especially from construction reliant sectors now split their working week between
Competition is fierce and the playing field is constantly changing. Companies are going after business in a way that they never did before. Winning and keeping customers is now about much more than simply going the extra mile. For some companies, especially in consumer facing industries, it’s about taking risks to keep loyal customers and attracting new ones, offering better value, providing a superior service.
Companies like McDonald’s have now started opening their doors across a number of their outlets on a 24 hour basis, predominantly so that they can capture the breakfast and coffee market. They continue to open new outlets. As one of the most successful companies in this country, they are challenging their competitors and are continuing to raise the bar. For McDonald’s, this strategy is paying off. The company served 23 million customers in
Fierce competition has imposed on us the requirement to think differently. Business leaders talk about holding their nerve as their business is stretched in every way. It also tests the mettle of management to come up with new and innovative approaches so that companies can attract and appeal to their audiences in new ways.
Tayto is an example of a company in
As a nation, this recession has forced us to become more customer focused than ever before. In every sector, be it retail, hospitality or professional consultancy, we have to fight hard to keep every customer. We must deliver beyond expectation. We also have to constantly monitor and measure the effectiveness of that delivery so that every client can be certain in the knowledge that their budget is being wisely spent.
Networking has become the outlet where we get together to share business success stories. The time for getting together to bemoan the effects of the current environment has passed, we now want to challenge ourselves to hear how other companies are doing things to positive effect, to learn from that and then to apply it to our own businesses.
The most notable impact of this is that it has made us all into sales people. Management teams are empowering their staff on the sales side as we become more determined than ever before to go out and secure that new customer or that piece of business. More determined to work smarter to keep our customers away from the competition, we will go that extra mile to deliver results. It has made us into more focused, smarter and more efficient individuals. We now look at our business in new ways. The recession has taught us to dig deep and this fighting spirit will stand to us as we all work together to get this country out of recession and to hopefully share in what will be the next business success story.
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