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What Matters Now at Work?

Editorial Team

Please tell us what you believe matters most at work in 2010. How is this different from 2009 or other years? As an employee or an employer, what do you think is the single most important thing that one or both constituents will want or need to focus on in the next 12 months—and why?


  1. Shelby

    After a year of financial chaos (in particular in the UK) and alot of lost faith in the ‘leaders’ of both government and business who haven’t focused on the greater good and primarily on personal greed and agendas, 2010 should be a year as an employer, that focuses on acknowledging the contributions of employees. Ensuring your business is able to adapt and change to the ever evolving marketplace whilst also balacing the human element. Alot of organisations aren’t acknowledging when downsizing in these difficult financial times – if people aren’t clear as to why certain decisions have been made then your staff will come to their own conculsion. If you don’t acknowledge stress both of downsizing, the economic gloom and the impact on the remaining staff morale it’s to your peril.
    Strong leadership with a personal touch (even when having to make difficult decision) ensures
    loyalty, trust and reinforces the commitment from the business to strive to have both a moral compass as well as meeting business objectives.

  2. Hello everyone and happy new year!
    Coincadently, I am starting a new job today! In 2010, what matters to me are my relationships at work. I have been out of work for months (why I built this website) and I miss people.
    On my new job, I strive to show more appreciation and seek out friendships.

  3. Beth D.

    2009 was a rough year for employees. Thousands were laid off due to a slowing economy and those who weren’t laid off were left behind to do more with less. I think employees will be even less loyal to companies (there was already a lack of loyalty among younger workers, who tend to move from job to job rather than stay in any one place for many years). Many of us also survived layoffs in 2001-2002 so we realize no job is permanent and we realize going the extra mile doesn’t always matter. Employers talk about “employee engagement” but engagement needs to be a two-way street.

  4. I think the most important focus for employees is to find their passion and do what they love. Ask yourself, would I do this even if I wasn’t paid. If the answer is “no”, then reconsider your position. That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job, but you do have to do some soul searching to find out what your talents and strenghts are and play to those. When you wake up in the morning, you should be juiced to go to work. I think this is more important than ever in 2010 because as many of us have felt the effects of the economic downturn, it has caused us to reevaluate our priorities. When money or stuff is taken away from you, you are only left with yourself. This is a powerful lesson because those of us who have lived as if our “stuff” was our image, we have realized that we really don’t need everything we thought we did. Who wants to be at the end of their life and regret having a “safe and passionless job”? Life is about living and if you find your passion, the money will follow!

  5. Amy

    I think that the single most important thing that workers and employers will want or need to focus on in the next 12 months is the human factor of human resources. Many companies are faced with hard economic times which have required them to resort to layoffs, furloughs, pay-cuts, benefit-cuts, etc. Not only to workers and employers need to remember and to take care to be respectful of and helpful to those people who are being directly affected; but, also those who are being indirectly affected (i.e., those left behind to shoulder the load and to deal with a sense of “survivor’s guilt” after others are laid off, furloughed, etc.). Workloads and stress have increased, and morale is very low. I think that it is going to be difficult to impart a sense of loyalty on workers going into the future when the perception is that employers have no loyalty to their employees. Focusing on the human-factor and looking to increase efficiencies and profit within the current state of the organization, instead of looking to make cuts first, may give workers a better sense that employers have their best interest in mind.

  6. Gwenore

    One big thing I have learned during my unemployment is VOLUNTEERING. I have had the opportunity to volunteer in a hospital in the IT area. I love computers but due to the required high level of math for a BA in computers – went for my more creative side of Advertising / PR. Now, I have the opportunity to learn about assisting people with computer applications and troubleshooting. It’s on-the-job training. My hope that this will improve my marketability instead of only relying on administrative skills.

  7. MyrnaMNY

    Here’s what I think matters most for 2010 as employees digest the business environment for 2009:
    1. Job stability
    2. Worker benefits(with renewed focus on permanent benefits) such : health, 401K or pension.
    3. Company performance – in light of mergers/failures of 2008-2009 including GM, Lehman, Bear Sterns

  8. Michelle Rosenbaum

    Without going into great detail, probably a person should be educated to be both literate and professional with a generous degree of sensitivity generally.

  9. Sherry

    After having been laid off from a 14 year history with one company at the age of 50, I had a rude awakening. I work in the IT field. I did not keep my skills sharp because I was “comfortable” in my shoes. Never rest on your laurels, be your own best advocate and learn, read, absorb as much as you can. Keep a positive attitude, stay out of the usual office gossip, get along with all co-workers even the not-so-nice ones. Don’t comment on your boss unless it’s good. Appreciate what you have, because it can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

  10. Laura

    As a future “employee” and as an “ex employee” what I need in 2010 is job stability/security. What I believe an employer will need in 2010 depending on the size of the company, are employees who are willing to sacrifice unemployment (too little money, no future)for what adults used to expect to do in order to support themselves, work. In retrospect, we have it better than those that were alive during the big depression. At least our economy is better than it was then. However, out of that depression came men and women who appreciated what they had and worked hard to get it. I am 57 and have had two really good careers, 12 years at Freddie Mac and 13 years with Sears. Both jobs ended in downsizing. I recently worked for a woman franchize owner and watched her struggle with taxes, lack of consistent sales and an impossible task of finding someone who would do her cold calling to grow her business. No one wanted to work…and especially not if they were drawing unemployment!
    I worked hard for her and tried to support her during the really tight times. I even loan her money to purchase inventory when she was waiting on her receivables to come in and the bank wouldn’t make any small business loans. In the end, she still had to let me go and is running the store by herself.
    So, if we all prepare ourselves to find a job we can partner with by giving it our time and support, maybe our economy will become stronger because we all have a personal investment in it.
    Just a thought, I am looking for that position as we speak…

  11. TGrier

    I find myself transitioning and looking for a career that can utilize my skills. I’m looking for new relationships and lasting ones. And I’m looking to work where communication is key and there is an investment in developing the employees’ talent and skills.
    The single most important factor between the employee and employer relationship will be communication and development of employee talent. Communication when times are good and times are bad keeps an open space for conversation. When you have communication you find employees who feel valued and there’s still a desire to keep creativity flowing. When communication stops and appreciation drops so does creativity (or willingness to do a great job whatever it may be) and commitment.

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