In today’s economy, the small business owner may encounter situations where one or more of the employees’ performances are affected. Because some employees may worry about not having a job a month or two down the road, their focus might not be as clear as compared to someone who had a guaranteed position. And in a situation when an individual is less focused, it could adversely affect the business, in addition to other employees.
So the question then is, how to manage your staff through a recession. Having been a manager in both private corporations and academic positions for over 20 years, I think I can offer some suggestions.
Weekly Staff Meetings
Excellent customer service is a necessity in managing your business through the recession, as these employees tend to be the “front line” of that business. Staff meetings should be held on a regular basis, to not only discuss topics such as customer service and marketing, but also ways to make the business more viable. During these staff meetings, it’s important for the small business owner to stress that each employee is depended upon and plays an important and specific role in the success of the business.
Communicate With Your Employees
Another idea in how to manage your staff through a recession is to speak to one or more employees individually and see if there is something you can do to allay their fears. This approach can assess their respective moods and concerns and what can be done to alter this sense of unrest.
During this one on one meeting, encouragement by the owner will help with this sense of unrest, especially by noting how well the company is doing in spite of the lingering recession. This would be a good time to point out to each employee the importance of their roles in the overall business strategy. When a business owner or manager do this it directs the employees attention towards the success of the business. This in turn will help the employee focus more on the business and not on whether or not they will lose their job.
Interact Outside of the Business
Lastly, if it is at all practical, plan on having a social event outside of the business on occasions so that employees can mingle amongst each other in a more relaxed manner and not have their attention on their work. This gives the business owner the opportunity to get to know the employees even better and to recognize the work that they do. If because of the recession this isn’t possible outside of the business, it’s certainly allowable to have an informal get together on site.
Not Just for Big Business
Some business owners may be reading this and thinking these ideas are only for large companies with big staff numbers. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, these ideas should be used with any business regardless of size. It is only by pulling together, having a common purpose, and having trust between all members of the business. It is the lack of communication that can hurt your business.
By having constant, positive and fair communication with all of your employees, there is no question most employees will respond positively and make your business more successful and move forward past the recession. Hopefully these few tips will help you in how you manage your staff through a recession.
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