The usual and predictable response in an economic downturn in many organizations is to demand greater productivity from the workforce by making employees work harder.
This can actually have a negative rather than a positive impact by fueling resentment and burnout. A smarter approach is to be open with employees about the business problems you face and invite them to be part of the solution while encouraging them to meet critical needs. Do this correctly and you’ll reduce stress, decrease wasted time, boost trust, build resilience, and improve productivity.
Here are a few examples to consider:
• Challenge the organization to respond by setting intriguing goals and articulate a compelling mission that will get people to rally.
• Intensify internal competition. Increase your team’s collaborative capacity by building relationships and encouraging the exchange of ideas and solutions.
• Ensure that your team is regularly exposed to diverse points of view and experiences.
• Encourage brainstorming and scenario analysis. Don’t abandon training, Invest in your people.
Instead of subscribing to the outdated principle that “tough times call for tough measures”, consider instead that tough times call for smart measures. Smart leaders utilize challenging times as an opportunity to inspire their people to become more spontaneous, productive and innovative.