Coping with a demoralized company as a new hire

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Aug 23

Getting hired by a company that has recently suffered great setbacks can be a great opportunity — or a complete nightmare. For sure, the employees left after all the setbacks will likely have a attitudes from lifeless to protective to uncaring to…well, not many good ones. And there you are, all excited about landing your dream job.

There are some actions you can take to keep your attitude right — and, perhaps, bring a few of your new coworkers along with you. Let’s look at these:

Stay focused on your work

When you are new on the job, or when a turnaround is needed, it requires a lot of energy and a lot of work. Distractions to your work simply can’t exist in a work environment where distractions about the company setbacks are everywhere. Focusing on the work, accomplishing results from your work, and getting stuff done can go a long way to ensure that you don’t lose your energy and positive feelings to taking a new job.

Right now, I have this nice countdown clock and it is counting down from 50-minutes to zero. I stay focused for 50-minutes, then take a 10-minute break, and then do the next 50-minutes. It really helps with the distractions so I can stay focused on the work.

Move forward on your goals every day

What drains your energy is not moving forward. If all you do is relentlessly tread water, you’ll never make it to shore. If you don’t have business goals, get them. And if you have business goals (or personal ones, for that matter), do something every day to move towards achieving them. Confidence comes from accomplishment. If you can accomplish something every day to achieve your goals, confidence will follow.

Help others achieve their goals

When you are in a demoralized work environment, not much is happening in achieving business goals. If you are doing work to achieve your goals as a new person on the job, see if you can’t help your coworkers achieve some of their goals. Or at least help them accomplish something that day to move towards their business goals.

It takes a hundred little things to move in the right direction and few things to move in the wrong direction. As I am fond of saying, “it’s easy to destroy and much harder to build.” Helping a coworker achieve something positive towards their business goals that day gets moving towards the “build” side of the equation.

Stay positive

Everyone will tell you stay positive in this situation. They say that because it is easy to slide into the same despair your coworkers are feeling. That doesn’t mean you start drinking management Kool-aid, just that you need to focus on moving forward with your work and not support or reinforce all the negatives in a demoralized company.

A reinforcing circle

Joining up with a demoralized company is tough. It takes a lot of energy to turn situations around. By focusing on your work, accomplishing something to achieve your business goals every day, helping others achieve their daily accomplishments and staying positive will become a reinforcing circle that continues to move you forward.

Now, maybe your manager didn’t hire you to turn the world around. But you can do your part — and keep your sanity while doing it.