Motivation and Productivity During Recession
Many of your staff may be waiting on redundancies. Each week the sales margins and cash-flow forecasts look increasingly dismal. At these times, the attention of Directors is on measured and reasonable contingency planning – this is made difficult by improbabilities in the forecasts and concerns about their people.
It may seem an odd time to consider motivation and productivity when so much may be floating out of management controls. In fact, as the redundancies are detailed, we need to get all the remaining staff to concentrate and focus – not look over their shoulders. One solution is to invest in them.
Investing in people has obvious messages linking to lower-stress in staff – they feel more likely to be retained. If this investment also increases productivity then a double bonus is achieved.
Training inputs that have the greatest effect on motivation and productivity are those that provide improved understanding, improved thinking and create self-started creativity to provide efficiency and cost improvements. One can achieve this by mixed training interventions and a coaching strategy that underpins the over-arching needs of the business.
Culture Change Versus a Coaching Culture
Culture Change is expensive, takes years (6-7 is typical) and often runs out of steam before the project has finished. In contrast, the development of a coaching culture is a shorter-term option with measured effect within 6 months and significant corporate effects within 18-24 months.
These established programmes involve taking two, three or more layers of the company and training cohorts of key people in groups. These groups learn coaching skills as a methodology that overlaps their individual style of management. Typically these are three-day courses run on single days over ten weeks. The focus is absolutely on skills that are applied at work immediately - not learning for the sake of learning! The issues faced on the course are real ones that are important to the business and to the productivity and wellbeing of the staff, there are no ‘role-plays’!
And the cost? Assuming say, thirty Directors and Managers attending and ninety Project Heads, the cost will be about £300 per head plus direct expenses at typically, £52 per head (though less if running multiple cohorts back-to-back).
The benefits for this limited investment are numerous. A more flexible, self-initiating management; happier junior staff that are no longer under- or over-managed; managers who are more open to change and who feel more in control in difficult times; managers and staff who feel more secure and valued and whose experience of work is positive, healthy and productive.