Recession Depression

Is recession depression spreading like wildfire throughout your organization? Here’s how you can tell, along with advice on how to treat this disease.


Is recession depression spreading in your organization? Here’s how you can tell:



Laughter has been replaced by silence. Remember when work used to be fun? You’d walk through the halls and you couldn’t help but notice the sounds of laughter floating through the office cubicles. Now all you hear is silence.


Black is the new red. Employees used to show up wearing bright colors to work. Now all they wear are shades of black, and occasionally a dash of gray is thrown in for a splash of color.


Frowns have replaced smiles. The only one smiling is the guy who just got an offer from the company next door. The rest of your employees appear to have frowns painted onto their faces.



Recession depression seems to be spreading through offices as quickly as the flu. Only there is no vaccination for this disease. However, with proper attention, you can stop this disease in its track. Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:


Look for signs that indicate your employees are at risk. This includes increased absenteeism; silence during meetings and more time spent huddled in their offices, rather than out in the field.


Connect with your employees. I don’t mean you should send them a text message asking them how they are doing, especially if their office is right down the hall from yours. Instead, take a moment to stop by their desk and ask them how they are doing. Inquire about their family or a hobby that you happen to know is important to them. Engage in the conversation.



Give credit to others, whenever possible. Let others shine before putting yourself into the spotlight. If one of your employees came up with a new product or service then be sure you give that employee the credit. When possible, acknowledge their contribution in front of his or her peers. And don’t forget to make sure you boss knows whose idea this really was.


Bring at-risk employees into the fold. The only way to attack this disease is head on. Anything less and you’ll surely have an epidemic on your hands.





Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions

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About the author

For more than 25 years, Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company and small to medium-size businesses, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. She is known world-wide as “The Talent Maximizer®.” Roberta, a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty, is the author of the top-selling book, Suddenly In Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, 2011), a Washington Post Top 5 Business Book For Leaders