Keeping Your Employees Happy

Photo: Tonie AuerBy Tonie Auer
DFW Chapter President and National Blog Chairwoman

While my husband has been out of work for two months, it has been a reminder that the economy is, indeed, hitting some hard times. As a freelance writer, many of my writing gigs have dried up or cut back on what they pay. Couple that with the number of layoffs in the newspaper and magazine industry and the pool is even harder to dive into because of all the people swimming in it.

However, there are many of us still looking for bigger challenges and brighter horizons (man, am I a cliche-factory today or what?). So, Colleen Eddy, the career center director at Poynter, offered some tips on how editors can maintain their top talent with Retaining Top Performers During Difficult Times. Great advice for bosses in all industries, as far as I’m concerned.

My favorite tip on her list is:

Recognize that we all need feedback — positive as well as corrective. I find that praise goes a long way in encouraging good performance to continue.

Working for a go-getter editor who was very talented, but had little “people” skills, I could appreciate that. This boy-wonder would pass out “editor notes” every Friday throughout the newsroom. Essentially, it was his list of mistakes we all made throughout the week. There were no positives in the list, only criticisms belittling our efforts. I can assure you that morale was at an all-time low despite the quality of our product improving. Yeah, he was a great editor who made some wonderful changes in the newsroom. He just managed to kill much of our spirit at the same time. I became the newsroom heroine when I told him – in not so kindly stated words – to kiss a part of my anatomy that wouldn’t be bared in public after he berated a colleague in front of the entire newsroom.

The amazing part of all of that was that I kept my job, got a raise and a promotion after that. *shrug* I sometimes think he was hoping one of us would show a little backbone, but I don’t know. Regardless, I’m still keeping afloat. My husband is still looking for a job and I think editors should appreciate the talent they have in the newsroom.

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