Money and Main Street

More work, same pay

Layoff survivors are now stuck with more responsibilities and additional stress - for the same old salary.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer

How secure do you feel in your job?
  • Extremely secure
  • Fairly secure
  • A little insecure
  • Not secure at all

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Still lucky enough to have a job? You're likely doing the work of two or three people, working longer hours and not getting any extra pay.

Workers who have survived the barrage of layoffs over the past year now have to shoulder the burden of increased workloads and heightened stress -- often with no added compensation.

In a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com, 47% of workers reported they have taken on more responsibility because of a layoff within their organization. Thirty-seven percent said they are handling the work of two people and 30% feel burned out.

"Employees are feeling added pressure as they shoulder heavier workloads and strive to maintain productivity levels," Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, said in a statement.

To accommodate increased responsibility, 34% of workers who kept their jobs after a layoff reported they are spending more time at the office, often working longer hours and more weekends, the survey said.

Cash-strapped employers, struggling to survive a recession, often have no choice but to ask remaining employees to pitch in more. With little in the way of available funds for salary increases, organizations are trying harder to retain top talent in other ways, according to John Dooney, manager of employment and HR strategy for The Society for Human Resource Management.

Dooney said that, in a recessionary economy, "high-potential employees," which are the workers with multiple skill sets that can function in a variety of different settings, are extremely valuable to employers.

But the impact and toll on people needs to be taken into consideration, according to Bob Eubank, executive director of the Northeast Human Resources Association.

"Companies that are just burning people out are making a big mistake," he said. "They have to start thinking about how their organizations are going to look when the recession ends, otherwise it's going to be mighty lonely."

Graphic designer Donna McCarty will likely consider a new position once the job market improves. McCarty, 41, has taken over partial responsibilities for three people who were laid off at her newspaper publishing company in Maryland.

"We've lost about 40 workers in the last two years," McCarty said. Over the last several months, she has had to pitch in to complete the work of the art director, real estate ad designer and IT professional - all laid off last August.

Despite the heftier workload, McCarty has not been compensated for the added responsibilities. "I did ask about my cost of living increase, but was put off," she explained.

Turning lemons into lemonade

The upside for workers like McCarty is that by taking on added responsibility, they are often also gaining valuable new skills that could help down the road.

"If nothing else, with the job market so competitive with designers, I can gain more experience for my résumé," McCarty said of her new roles at the publishing firm.

Being more flexible and stepping up during difficult times can help workers stand out and show their current employers that they're team players, while sharpening new skills at the same time.

"[Employees] should look at it as an opportunity to expand their own professional skills and prove to their organization that they have even more capabilities," agreed Suzanne Bates, author of the book "Motivate Like a CEO."

"That may lead to whole other careers and career opportunities," she said. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.