The current environment poses significant challenges to organizations across the globe. Employees are suffering too. Employees face a fair amount of confusion about their companies’ goals & strategy and at a micro-level, confusion about their own job roles. There are heightened concerns over job security & compensation. I could go one with such “descriptives”, but the bottom line is that this environment can potentially erode employee engagement, morale and well-being.
These are tough times. But, there are a few things that leaders can do to make the situation relatively better. Here are 8 tips to help your employees to manage change in the current economic climate:
- Clarify your plans and strategy for dealing with the economic climate: Explain “what”, “how” and most importantly “why”. Clarity on organizational goals will also help managers & employees take right decisions in the day-to-day work.
- Reinforce your long/short term plans and strategy in every forum: Use every employee forum to drive clarity on your objectives and plans. Employees need to be crystal clear to be able to align their priorities with organizational objectives.
- How about leveraging common Web 2.0 tools: Transparency, especially in these times, is critical and highly valued by employees. Employees themselves face a lot of uncertainty on the work and personal front and it is critical to ensure that the workforce has easy access to information it needs to deal with the situation. Companies could potentially look at dedicated websites, wikis, group blogs etc. to share information.
- Weekly email updates: This is dead-simple. Fire out “all staff” emails on a weekly basis, informing employees about what’s happening, successes, information updates etc. You should be the one telling the employees the “story”, not the newspapers!
- Cross-train people: This is a great opportunity for companies to prepare the next set of cross-functional leaders. Use the “optimized staff” situation to encourage people to learn other jobs and handle multiple responsibilities and in the process, groom future leaders.
- Explain to employees possible impacts on compensation & benefits: No one likes this one! Tell people ASAP if their rewards would change. Even if the news is not so positive, people like to know what to expect. As far as possible, also communicate the elements of “redesign” of compensation packages.
- Harness the latent energy of workgroup innovation: Encourage employees to come up with new ways of doing things. Establish an “unblocked” communication channel to help employees share these ideas. Send a clear message to the people – Ideas are valued, despite the economic environment.
- Share KPI data with everyone: This is especially important if your company has changed your KPIs in the light of the changing environment and business strategy. This will help employees to understand how their roles contribute to the organizational objectives.