Monday, February 5, 2001
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Posted on: Monday, February 5, 2001

Firms retain eight types of workers

Gannett News Service

Eight types of workers are most likely to retain their jobs and receive top compensation during the economic downturn, according to workplace consultant John A. Challenger:

Border Crossers. Cost-conscious employers, especially smaller firms, often cannot afford specialists. People who display flexibility and perform several tasks well often can do the jobs of two or more employees, saving payroll.

Trouble Seekers. These employees adopt an employer attitude toward problem-solving and seek out difficult assignment. Individuals who gear their work lives in this direction can help make themselves "untouchable" during a downsizing or reorganization.

The Great Facilitator. Companies value those at all skill levels who can ameliorate differences among groups. They rely on coalition builders in an increasingly team-oriented workplace.

Nonstop Students. Enthusiastic employees who are eager to learn, especially in the areas of technology and global business issues. Employers place high value on an employee who soaks up new information and uses it to enhance the job.

Clockless Workers. Employees who make themselves available for problem solving by adopting management’s "clockless" definition of the workday. They demonstrate a willingness to work management style, displaying an understanding of the competitive pressures and showing that the company’s concerns are their concerns.

Job Vacuum. This employee sweeps up extra tasks without being asked. That person shows a strong work ethic and a willingness to tackle jobs that many others would find unattractive. Management is likely to take note of such commitment and selflessness.

Un-Retirees. Older workers, many of whom retired and are returning to work, will be highly sought after in a slowing economy. These seasoned veterans need little if any training, and many are willing to work part-time, lowering companies’ payroll costs.

Self-Managers. These are the employees who have the discipline and skills to impose a measure of self-management to their jobs, and as a result, are virtually fire-proof.

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