2022 has been a time of great uncertainty for businesses; with the rumbling impact of COVID-19 and less cash to play with, businesses now face the pressure of finding ways to do more with less than ever before. The reality of an impending recession has a huge impact on the way employees cope with work, especially if they are concerned that there could be job cuts or reductions in hours. Rather than letting the threat of austerity reduce the motivation of your team, look at some of the ways you can help everyone feel as secure and motivated as possible.
Communication is Key
Perhaps the most important part of keeping everyone motivated is to provide them with lots of detailed communication about what is happening and what actions may be taken to manage the financial downturn. Failing to let people know what is going on can be the catalyst for damaging gossip and speculation, which will leave everyone fearful of what to expect. Remember that this communication needs to be honest but also provide people with hope about their future at the company.
Don’t Encourage Damaging Competition
When there is a potential prospect of having to lay people off, employees will often feel that they have to compete to earn a space in the company’s lifeboat. This competition can result in individuals getting a message that they have to work harder and longer hours to be in with a chance, but this is damaging to their wellbeing and your team spirit. It’s true that as budgets tighten, people will need to find new and more resourceful ways to achieve the outcomes needed, but it’s also vital that individuals do not take this as a message to give up their free time in order to keep their jobs as this will lead to resentment and a lack of motivation.
Take Time to Hear New Ideas
One of the best ways to keep people motivated is to hear what they have to say. When someone is working on the front line, they can often see simple ways to streamline what they are doing so that you can make genuine savings. By allowing your teams to share new ideas about how to keep your business running successfully, you are empowering them and showing them that they are valuable to you – a really motivating message. Plus, with the ideas that get shared, you may find new and exciting ways of doing what you need for less!
Always Be Upfront About Redundancies
Finally, if you are in a position where you may need to lay people off for business continuity reasons, then you must be upfront and honest with people. Continuing to hire and spread a message that everything is going to be ok will only lead to resentment and anger when layoffs start to happen. By sharing that there is a real chance that people may lose their jobs, you are giving your workforce time to evaluate their needs and make the right decision for them. Share the news carefully and professionally, and make sure that you provide people with someone to talk to if they have any queries. Finally, provide resources such as outplacement where possible.
Choose the Right People to Lead
If you are worried about how to keep your teams motivated during a recession, then you will first need to ensure that you have a team of executives that are skilled at steering the ship through turbulent waters. At GeneCoda®, we understand the pressure on companies and have a number of excellent executive candidates with the skillset you need to pull everyone together. Get in touch to discuss your needs and let us help you find a way through these difficult times.