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Bright Ideas: Tap your staff’s talents

Laid off workers aren’t the only ones who need help during a recession, says Heidi Garcia, human performance specialist with Karico Performance Solutions. Companies need to make full use of their employees’ talents to survive and thrive, though many don’t, she says.

Opportunity in layoffs

The job market is a crowded place these days. Layoffs continue apace as the recession drags on and companies claw back. The Canadian economy shed 83,000 jobs last month, bumping the unemployment rate up to 7.7 percent, according to Statistics Canada’s February employment report, released last week. Ontario alone lost 35,000 of those jobs and the province’s unemployment rate of 8.7 percent is the highest it’s been since April 1997.

Your business can succeed

Every dark economic cloud has a silver lining, even in this gloomy recession. Small- and medium-sized businesses — those that employ fewer than 100 people — make up nearly 97 percent of Vaughan’s 9,000-plus business base. Each faces unique challenges but all can take steps to survive and prosper.

Common cents approach

With the economy on the skids, people everywhere are taking a fresh look at their financial situations. And that’s as it should be, says Gail Vaz-Oxlade, host of Slice’s Til Debt Do Us Part. “I’ve been singing this song for a while and all of a sudden everybody’s just got the songbook,” she says. “It’s just common sense: you can’t spend more money than you make.”