What Does it Mean When Management Starts Neglecting Employees?

Posted by Paige Tintle

August 02, 2012 @ 12:26 PM

SHH 200x300Coming to work on a Monday morning to find upper management tight-lipped is an uneasy feeling. Some say it could be a sign of impending layoffs or bad things to come but should you start packing up, or speak up?

Decoding the Silence

First you’ll have to play detective and try and figure out what it means if management starts to neglect employees.

There are a number of possible scenarios and they don’t all mean that you are being laid off. It could be your boss who is leaving.  It could a coworker. It could be nobody at all. Executives get a case of the Mondays every once in a while too. Even if this is the case, there are steps to take according to the Career Doctor Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers.  Hansen believes any lull in the conversation could be bad for the employee.

“You have a new boss who is either "too busy' to meet with you or simply brushes you off. This issue alone is not enough to think layoff, but try to remedy this situation as quickly as possible. If your new (or current) boss does not totally understand all the things you do for your job, you become more expendable when budgets get cut,” says Hansen,

As Hansen says having an open line of communication with your higher-up is important for a number of reasons. At the very least your boss needs to know how hard you are working and in a culture of job cuts and layoffs, this might be doubly important.

Employment writer Gregory P. Jacobson warns bosses and managers to keep information flowing, especially if tough times are ahead, in his article Don’t Neglect Employee Morale in a Down Economy.

“Individuals tend to think the worst in difficult situations. Lack of communication can lead employees to assume their jobs are at risk. In addition to low morale and lack of motivation, neglecting to communicate with employees could push them to search for new employers,” writes Jacobson.

If all else fails, and the boss continues with the silent treatment then being prepared is a good option says executive/career coach and 15-year recruiting veteran Darrell Gurney.

In his article Create an Emergency Layoff Plan for Your Family. Gurney gives tips to help prepare you and your family if a layoff is in your future.

Having a plan can help you handle even the worst-case scenario.