Managing Staff Through The Tough Times
While there are businesses that may be thriving, the recent recession and its aftermath mean that it’s been a tough few years for a lot of businesses. If we are to be honest things are likely to remain tough for the next few years as we contend with Government cuts, problems with Europe and what have you. The natural instinct under these circumstances is therefore to knuckle down and focus – expecting those that work for us to do the same thing – grateful that unlike so many others they have work.
The tendency is to put structures and processes in place to ensure that we things work both effectively and efficiently – this is something I highly recommend. I also advice on the need to become more stringent about absences and what staff do within work time – this is something else that most businesses will probably be doing now. Additionally most businesses will also be becoming more focused on targets and expect staff to have the same focus. All of this is perfectly understandable and logical – after all unless a business is run on volunteers and unpaid interns, the people working with you are being paid to get a job done in what is now a very competitive market.
I do believe, that it is, however, important to remember that just as businesses are going through a tough time, so are a lot of people that work with us. What with the increased costs of living and the possible unemployment of a partner; close family members and/or friends, this can all very easily serve to put pressure on those fortunate enough to have a job. This type of pressure on staff may also be enhanced if you have already had to implement reduced hours or a pay freeze for a few years.
So yes, do expect the best from your people, but also please be a bit sensitive too. Where possible take the time to understand their circumstances. Allow for a little flexibility within your structures and processes if it will help them without being detrimental to the business.
Fundamentally communicate with them on the position of the business, the plans that you have for the business i.e. the strategy and the logic behind it. Be open to their input and ideas – they may actually be the source of input that makes all the difference to your business.
In balancing the requirements of your business with the needs of your staff, I believe you will attain their crucial support and their vey best through the on going tough times that we are all faced with.
Copyright 2011. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated