In today’s dismal job market, where layoffs are a frequent occurrence and employees are doing more with less, everyone seems to be in survival mode. Today’s workforce has been wounded and suffers from severe battle fatigue. How is a manager supposed to keep his/her staff motivated and engaged in today’s harsh environment?
There should be open communications and a lot of it. When employees do not know what is going on the gossip mill begins to churn. Rumors of layoffs, takeovers, and other forms of destruction will spread and spread quickly. Communicate relentlessly and be honest and upfront with everyone from your direct reports to your junior staff. Dispel the rumors that are wrong and provide whatever information you can about those that have some truth. If your firm is cutting back, let them know and let them know the circumstances. Your employees will appreciate your honesty. Provide ways to handle the situation and project what the future holds for them and the company.
Refocus your employees. Try to focus their energy towards getting the job done. As a manager try to make it easy to get things accomplished given that their thoughts will be elsewhere. Be certain that they know what is expected of them and they understand how to meet those expectations.
Keeping employees engaged in today’s job market will require a lot of work from you as a manager. Do not become a passive leader. Get out from behind your desk and engage your employees. Talk to them. Let them know you are there for them and that you care. Refocus their efforts. Treat your employees fairly and with respect and you will hopefully make it through as a stronger better team.