How to Keep Your Team Motivated during an Economic Downturn
It is much easier to motivate and support your team when things are going well for your company. The money is flowing and the bonuses are great. However, during those difficult times, when your company is not quite as profitable, your team is as often impacted by the stress as you are. Sometimes, team leaders and managers make decisions that seem right in the moment but that may have a long reaching, negative impact on the team.
If you are not careful, fear can cause your team to get off track and have a negative impact on productivity. It is extremely important to maintain as much stability as possible during an economic downturn. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open to effectively quell rumors and stop the spread of fear in its tracks.
In addition, here are few ways you can help keep your team motivated during those times:
Recognition for a Job Well Done
One of the most effective ways to keep your team upbeat and motivated during the slow times is through rewards and recognition. Recognizing and rewarding team members let them know they are valuable assets. Even if your budget does not permit monetary or tangible gifts, a simple thank you note or certificate lets your team members know their hard efforts are appreciated. If there something in the budget for rewards, money goes a long way towards motivation.
Consistency is Crucial
When things are not going so well financially, it is especially important to maintain as much consistency as possible. This is not the time to reorganize and change things. Doing so could lead to unfounded fear. Maintaining a consistent approach even when things are not going well instills trust and confidence in your team that you eventually will get back on even footing.
If cuts are going to be necessary, be open about it with the team. Let them know what is happening and what to expect. Uncertainty breeds fear and distrust that will only cripple productivity and kill motivation.
Be Open to Input
Allow your team to express their concerns. When times are stressful, it is easy for employees to become overwhelmed. Allowing team members to openly voice their fears and concerns helps dissolve tension and makes for a more productive work environment. Make sure you are listening, too. Sometimes, solutions hide in surprising places. Remember, you created your team for a purpose. Giving team members a voice helps creates a sense of empowerment and responsibility.