Lead Your Employees Through the Recession

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Many small businesses are struggling through the current uncertain, tough economy. Perhaps you’ve had to lay off employees, cut perks and reduce spending, making your remaining staff’s jobs more difficult.

Times like these force everyone to step up; you may be seeing a welcome side effect of the downturn in more focused and dedicated employees. Take advantage of this situation and hone your leadership skills. With tough decisions to face and stress to handle, it may seem impossible to be a great leader; but now is not the time to become self-absorbed and forget that your employees still need your guidance.

A recent article in Family Business Magazine offers these tips:

1. Meet with your staff often.  Clear, frequent communication is vitally important.  People are smart; they know what’s going on in the world around them; they know what your customers are up to. Be honest about the economic slowdown and stay ahead of the gossip curve before things spiral out of control.

Great leaders learn from staff and customers every day.

2. Acknowledge your shared fears.  Recognize the real fears and concerns that exist at all levels of business and society. Again, communicate with your employees. Listen to their concerns and put yourself in their place. Just allowing them to vent is often a big help.

A leader listens first, and then speaks.

3. Put things in perspective. If your company has weathered tough times before, it will do so again. Let your employees know this: they may have no idea what your company has been through—and no idea how strong it really is. 

Leaders keep an eye on the past when planning for the future.

4. Invite your employees to participate in finding solutions. Ask for their creativity, and reward them for great ideas.  Some companies pay bonuses for cost-cutting suggestions; others hold brainstorming pizza parties to work on strategic planning together.

Leaders help their employees feel like part of the solution, not part of the problem.

5. Be an optimist!  A negative attitude is viral.  Instead, spread the positive. Remind your team about previous wins.  Talk about the positive results that came from other difficult times. Focus your staff on ways they can repeat those efforts that once proved successful. 

Leaders always focus on the positive, and teach others to do the same.

Watch your actions; measure your words; remember that your staff is looking to you for guidance through a difficult time. The way you carry yourself—for better or worse—will be long remembered.  Do whatever you must to ensure that your staff’s memories of this economic downturn are as positive as possible.

When you’re hiring again, pre employment screening checks will help you attract and retain the best employees to help you through your company’s growth and prosperity.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.