How to Keep Your Team Energized and Focused during Uncertain Economic Times. (Personnel Matters)

Article excerpt

Mergers...Acquisitions... Alliances...Downsizing... Welcome to today's business reality. As companies from coast to coast struggle to gain market share during this time of economic instability, many are forced to look for creative ways to get their objectives met. In the process of all the monumental changes they enact, however, many company leaders often forget to consider their employees' reaction to the business shift. This oversight can easily lead to a dramatic drop in employee productivity. Since your employees are essentially your company's backbone, neglecting their input and not addressing their concerns sets the stage for troubled times ahead.

The fact is that when companies shift gears, employees instinctively feel a sense of fear. How will the change affect me? Is my job safe? and What will happen to my family? are the common questions that race through their minds. It's during these times when employees most need not only encouragement and motivation to keep producing, but also understanding and compassion to keep their morale high.

As a business owner, corporate leader or manager, you have the responsibility to ease your employees' fears and help them through this time of uncertainty. When you enable your team to maintain their enthusiasm for work and their ability to focus on the tasks at hand, your company will be better able to withstand any economic fluctuations that come. Help your employees today, and reap the benefits for years to come.

Guide Your Team to Discovering Opportunities for Growth

When a business change occurs, people naturally want to focus on the event--its negative aspects more so than its positive aspects. They play out various scenarios over and over again in their minds and are unable to let go of the apprehension, fear or uncertainty the event brings on. This is when you need to help employees refocus their thinking, so they can stay on track.

Whenever we are experiencing a challenge, we must take it and look at it a different way. Encourage people to look at the situation as if they were using a camera: change the focus and maybe a better picture will appear, or at least a more interesting one. Think of the challenges your company is currently experiencing. Are profits down? Is the threat of layoffs imminent? Has customer demand plummeted? Now, look at those scenarios from a different perspective. Play the "what if" game. What if you reorganized, introduced a new product, allocated funds differently, changed your marketing or did any number of things differently? The more you rally the troops behind you to see the challenges in a new light, the more opportunities for growth your team will uncover.

Help Them Minimize Professional and Personal Stress

Many people waste precious time worrying about the future. During times of uncertainty, that worry time multiplies. People are so busy worrying about their jobs, the economy, their security, their family and a host of other concerns that they are unable to produce any meaningful kind of work. …