It is important to understand what to expect during a recession and, furthermore, how you can facilitate the process of working through the ripple effect of new challenges to be faced.
Even though this won’t always be an issue forever… she thought hopefully, as I write, “recession” is still rampant.
There have been some dire fallout consequences to many companies, even those that had been thriving. During a recession, where layoffs and cost cutting run rampant, morale and productivity suffer.
Uncertain times leave employees feeling helpless and fearful of losing their jobs.
So, here, the challenge is to be proactive and promote productivity in your business during any economic
downturn. Here are some constructive ways to encourage and develop focused company efforts:
1) Have an open-book policy. Involve your employees and ensure that they understand the business, its finances, and how they can affect the bottom line. Show them fixed costs and profit numbers. Let them see that when the sales volumes drop to a certain point, losses quickly occur.
2) The managers among you can establish workable and attainable business benchmarks, which can be published and posted throughout the company. Clearly identify how the company is performing. You may think that you are giving up too much information, but in fact, you will minimize the effects of uncertainty within your key staff. Usually, in times of recession or instability, the weak move on, but the fighters step up to the plate. If a downturn in business generates a better overall team within the company, there will be recognizable benefits moving forward.
3) Be direct and straightforward in all communications. Explain the rationale for changes and layoffs. Be serious, to
the point, and clear.
4) Communicate well and be succinct. Say only what needs to be said to make your point.
5) Make changes and show improvement quickly. Use the “make me believe” principle to keep focus and attention on your overall strategy.
6) Reconnect with your customers and let them know that they come first. There should be no selling, just communication. Show appreciation for their business and your joint successes. Too many companies lose track of who their customers really are. When they do, customer service becomes lip service. Not all the fancy “partnering” jargon in the world can repair the damage done.
7) Be visible by keeping your doors open and walking around the office. You have nothing to hide when circumstances are out of your control.
8) Show employees that they are valued and that their work is important for the company’s continuance and eventual recovery. Provide incentives that will kick into play when the company’s performance improves.
9) Celebrate and communicate all successes. New business, new clients, improved sales, and cost reduction are necessary and important. As an employee, you need to be always reinventing yourself, finding new ways to improve your skills, bettering your position by finding ways to make yourself indispensable to the company—in other words, being proactive.