Golden Business Ideas

A Better Way to Deal With the Layoff Dilemma
In these tough economic times, a company may experience critical cash-flow problems and sometimes have to terminate even talented, loyal employees. It’s just a product of the business cycle, and in a few months, the company may desperately want to hire them back. There is a better chance of successfully rehiring employees if they leave on the best of terms. Here are some things an employer can do:

Go out of your way to help them find a new job. Offer them the use of in-house facilities (office, desk space, phone).
Say you sincerely hope to rehire them when conditions improve.
Structure their severance package as generously as you can.
Go out of your way to provide the most positive references you can—going so far as offering to call the prospective employer to discuss their qualifications.

When Too Smart Is Dumb
While managers who are exceptionally bright can be a major asset to a company, sometimes they also create tensions with colleagues that offset their contributions. It often takes a friendly, more mature mentor to take them aside and point out that they unwisely

Ignore the views of others with more experience and knowledge.
Put too much value on their own ideas, neglecting to develop relationships with the people they manage.
Complicate simple problems just so they can demonstrate some clever solution.
Push fancy processes that are no better than the current straightforward one.

Rx for the Plateaued Executive
Every company faces the problem at one time or another: A longtime employee reaches the top of his or her career ladder and either there is no higher post available or the person is not qualified to be promoted. While he or she is competent in the current post, being passed over breeds hurt feelings.

What to Do About It?
Provide new challenges and assignments—even if it means crossing departmental lines. Try to include the person on less critical companywide task forces, which lets him or her know the company values his or her experience. That should restore any loss of confidence the employee may have suffered.

Gift Giving
When undergoing a long and difficult business negotiation, keep in reserve a little something extra you’re willing to give up. Then, when you finally come to an agreement, offer it with no strings attached. It’s like the candy mint a good hotel leaves on your pillow before bedtime. Such a gift helps ensure the deal will be executed with enthusiasm.

An Invitation
The JofA publishes a monthly collection of Golden Business Ideas and invites readers to contribute their favorites (for attribution, if you like).

Send your ideas to Senior Editor Stanley Zarowin via either e-mail ( ) or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy , Harborside Financial Center, 201 Plaza Three, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.


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