How to Motivate Employees in Tough Times
When a company faces an economic downturn, it is easy to place less focus on the employees and more on the bottom line. Unfortunately, this creates disengagement amongst the work staff. Employees no longer feel like a valued part of the company and loyalty diminishes at a rapid rate. This is the time to put employees as priority, which not only results in maintaining a strong staff, but can have other benefits in pulling your company out of its slump. Here are a few ways to keep motivation going for your employees in tough times.
Keep Up With Reviews
When business is bad, employee reviews are often dismissed in lieu of keeping the focus on production However, this is one of the very ways to keep your employees motivated and working at their top levels even when seeing the struggles around them. It allows employees to feel that they are still being seen. By receiving feedback on their performance and praise where it is due, they continue to feel as though the work they are doing is integral to the company’s success.
Give Opportunities to Hone Skills
When employees leave a company, a common complaint is that their potential was ignored and they were kept in a stagnant position. Instead of leaving your staff stuck in the same routine, take this opportunity to allow employees to sharpen their teeth and hone their skills. If you have an employee who has been asking to learn a new process or to be trained in another area, use this as an opportunity to do just that. It may be that you have a hidden gem sitting in the wrong department when, in fact, they would shine more in a new position. While monetary compensation may not be an option for your employees in tough times, recognition of mastering a new skill goes a long way towards satisfaction. In addition, it allows employees to keep from getting bored in a current role, increasing engagement. Developing employees during this time maintains a sense of productivity and provides motivation for continued learning. Then, when business turns upward, you will have an even stronger staff than before.
Reward High Performance With Achievement Opportunities
If you have a high performer whose talents are being wasted upon mundane tasks, assign him or her to a project that will allow the exploration of their abilities. Retaining employees in tough times is imperative for the long-term success of a company. Utilize the talents already in your workforce by allowing a staff member to redesign a current process or to try their hand at coming up with a problem solving technique. A person trying to move up the ladder of success will be more engaged with an opportunity to reach a new level of achievement.
Communicate Long Term Vision
One of the worst things a company can do is keep their employees in the dark. This fosters resentment and paranoia as your staff begins to wonder what the future holds in store for them. Be transparent with your employees in tough times so they trust you and understand your long term vision for the company. If they see a light at the end of the tunnel and know that there are goals to be met, they are more likely to engage and remain loyal to your brand.
Step away for a moment from any titles or position levels and look at your company as a whole. Create a sense of inclusiveness and ask employees across the board what they believe may help the brand. You may be surprised at the unique perspectives and ideas that come from a simple willingness to listen. In one small Florida town, a Starbucks employee took note of the fact that customers often came over from a nearby school for the deaf and blind. Utilizing the two-way monitor on the drive-through, the employee, who happens to know American Sign Language, began taking orders. This led to a new process within that store, opening up a completely new method of serving an expanded client base. This did not happen at the top, but grew directly from a person’s familiarity with needs on the front lines.
When given the chance, employees in tough times often come through as a salvation for companies who are struggling to survive. Maintain employee motivation and engagement and you may be surprised at the extra benefits you see.
Learn more about how to develop a strong staff with all-star talent as well as how to move your company to the next level by utilizing the tools, articles, and other resources here at Mighty Recruiter.