5 Steps To Get The Best Out of Your Employees in a Downturn

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If you’re an employer at any company - no matter how big or small - it’s an absolute necessity to keep them productive for the sake of the bottom line. However … when it comes to those natural “bumps in the road” of an economic downturn, it’s not always an easy thing to keep a smooth workflow in the company.

When morale suffers and questions bubble under the surface, productivity naturally suffers. So, in these occasions - and these occasions WILL arise (especially if the economy begins to slow, as expected) - you will have to take some proactive steps to make sure that the productivity in the office is maintained.

Hopefully, if the productivity stays at the same level - or even rises a bit - your company can benefit in the long run.

So, how to do that?

Well, we’re here to help! In this piece, we’ll outline some of the best Steps to Get the Best Out of Your Employees in a Downturn!

 

  • Keep an even keel - Imagine you’re on some type of mass transit - a bus, a ship, a plane. You’d like a strong, steady hand at the wheel (or whatever device controls it), correct?
    Well, you can apply that same logic to corporate leadership. Be the face of calm in the proverbial storm. If you can keep your head about you and provide that soothing valve for their own emotions, you should soon find that your level-headedness will result in a more comfortable - and therefore more productive - office. Try not to get too angry or let your own thoughts and feelings inform your mood at the office. Employees will be able to sense your mood, and they can usually sniff out when something is wrong. Again, it’s an absolute necessity to be the stern and steady captain through the rocky times.
  • Keep spirits high - Explore some creative ways to get employees more invested in the company and more interested and engaged in coming to work every day. This can range from offering outplacement in order to alleviate employees worries of facing redundancy or scheduling a company or department outing, so that employees in the company will be able to have something fun on their calendar and take their minds off of whatever turmoil might be happening. Explore ways to reward hard work in the office through an awards ceremony or some type of special recognition program; this might also encourage fellow workers to kick things up a notch. Also, be creative with it. Don’t just stick to the same old schedule. A little bit of variety and innovation will go a long way in this process.
  • Be open with your communication - Be as honest as you possibly can with all your employees. In this occasion, it’s not very productive to build silos. Don’t tell one group of employees one thing and withhold it from another; that will foster suspicion and discord, and will bring about even more questions to the process. That’s not a good recipe for a calm environment. Again, open communication - to the logical extent it can be done - is always the better option.

 

  • Have lots of one-on-one meetings - The personal touch from a supervisor in these kinds of situations is always welcome, so be sure to speak personally with the employees under your command. It doesn’t have to be formal, necessarily - just have some check-ins. Talk to them about how they’re feeling about their duties, their workload, the direction of the company, and the direction of their career. It’s a nice thing for them, and it has the potential to educate you about the overall morale and direction of the company.
    Additionally, if there’s a performance or productivity issue that must be addressed during these turbulent times, don’t do this in public; it’s not going to help morale at all. Instead, address it firmly and decisively behind closed doors. If the problems still continue, it may be more productive for the office to think about moving that employee to a different department to continue his career.
  • Don’t let rumors spread - There are few things more unhelpful for the overall health of a company than a loose rumor spreading rampant. That old metaphor about rumors and the feathers in a pillow is very spot on. Rampant speculation and loose talk can drag morale and productivity down like a broken anchor. Have your ear to the ground; if rumors pop up, address them as quickly and as accurately as you can. You don’t want that type of infection spreading.
 

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Tuesday, 20 November 2018
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