Times are about to get difficult—there is no sugar coating it. Personally, this is the fourth time in my career I’ve seen the impact of a crashing market on the economy, and difficult times will continue into the foreseeable future. As a result, we as leaders all have a challenging time ahead of us; businesses will struggle, and with struggling business, comes very difficult decisions to make. As leaders, there is a lot on our shoulders… But, let’s not forget the engines that makes our businesses possible: our employees. Let’s face it, more often than not, our employees make significantly less than us and many could be living paycheck to paycheck. When tough economic times arise, it puts unimaginable pressures on them both professionally and personally. As they, unfortunately, do not have the reserves that most of us have in order to weather the storm.
It’s pretty easy to stand in front of town hall meetings and send companywide emails telling them things are going to be okay, but little will comfort them as layoffs and pay cuts begin to roll out. There are many things we can do to help support them in these struggling times; however, at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. One way to show your team that you are in this with them, is to jump into the trenches and fight the battle side by side with them. Things such as reaching out randomly to see how they are doing, jumping on sales or support calls, or just simply taking up a task that is way below your paygrade, goes a long way in reassuring your team. During these tough economic times, any job can become a true grind with the real fear of losing a job always on the back of someone’s mind. It is leadership’s job to do everything in our power to help boost team morale any way we can. Upbeat and motivated teams can and will accomplish unbelievable things and might just be the saving grace that keeps your business afloat in tough economic times.
Below, I’ve shared some additional leadership approaches to help in these difficult times ahead, and we would love to hear what you are doing for your business in the comments section.