Keeping Your Employees Focused in an Uncertain Economy
How companies react, from a people perspective, to the ups and downs of the economic climate can determine how well they survive weaker times. Survival during these times depends on maximizing competitive advantage and a company’s employees can have a large impact on that. Here are a few suggestions for owners, CEOs and managers:
1. The best way to weather uncertain economic times is with the willing engagement of a focused and committed workforce. Try to avoid things like knee-jerk layoffs (unless survival is at stake), poorly thought out pay cuts, and general cutbacks that have no major impact on the bottom line.
2. Fear can cause your workforce to disengage. The more employees fear losing their jobs, the less concern they will have about doing their jobs and taking care of customers. It’s ok to ask employees to cut back on unnecessary expenses, but interjecting fear into the workplace when doing this can backfire. And, they will be looking at owners and CEOs for those telltale signs of fear, and of hope!
3. Talk candidly to the organization about how the business is doing. This is the job of the CEO and shouldn’t be delegated. The one thing that distracts employees more than anything, is not knowing what’s going on. Every minute your folks spend wondering or worrying is a minute the customers are being ignored. Karl Jung once said “When facts are few, opinions loom large”.
4. Become more “high touch” with your employees. Economic downturns are more than just business related, they are personal as well. Spend a bit more time with your employees, listen to them and make sure they have what they need.
5. Pay extra attention to the customers you have. Make sure your employees understand the meaning of “extra attention”. This is the best time to show your customers that you care about them and chances are, you’ll come out of the downturn with better relations and maybe more customers.
6. Keep positive and smile. Your employees will feel better and they’ll get more done!