Times: Start From the Inside
By Dr Rhonda
The human tendency is to do less, spend less, worry more and
have more fear. However, in tough economic times such as this, itâ€™s
more important than ever for companies to relearn and grow, to be
innovative and not procrastinate!
Even though business may be down, employees still need to be
involved and motivated in order for the company to bounce back when
things turn around. Knowing the goals and needs of the business and
keeping employees invested in the company will ultimately help the
business thrive in times of economic uncertainty. To be sure your
business thrives in spite of the economy, acknowledge that tough
economic times call for tough strategies.
the business stands and what areas need improvement will help you
and your employees stay focused. Ask your team members for their
help. Create an environment where employees are encouraged to
provide feedback. Clarify organization goals by asking six
1) What are your
major goals? Write them down.
2) What are your
strengths and weaknesses? What should you stop doing? What should
you never stop doing?
3) What do you
need to change?
4) What is your
plan? Choose only 2 short-term goals and one long-term goal. Focus
on these, remembering that too much change all at once is worse than
no change at all.
5) What are you
going to do to put your plan into action? List the steps necessary
to accomplish the goal. Ask your team which steps each member will
volunteer for and hold the team accountable.
6) Donâ€™t give
up! Enjoy the challenge and persevere. Most importantly, however,
for your teamâ€™s sake, celebrate each accomplished goal before
crossing it off the list and choosing another goal.
Hold effective team
meetings to keep your employees informed:
Good leaders solicit information and facilitate
discussion, primarily through a commitment to team involvement. A
key way to have effective staff involvement is through the use of
team meetings. These meetings review the health of the business as
well as provide necessary training for employees. Successful team
meetings are goal oriented, productive and motivational and should
have the following characteristics:
different team members on a rotational basis
expectations of behavior
including owners/managers should be held to the same level of
The meeting should
not focus on something only one team member is doing. These issues
are best discussed privately with that individual.
Many managers and
business owners avoid performance reviews because they are afraid of
creating conflict. But the truth is, your employees need them. A
productive performance review should be motivational. Itâ€™s not a
time to talk about something your team member did two months ago.
should focus on the employeeâ€™s goals. Prior to the review, ask them
to list 3-4 goals theyâ€™d like to accomplish over the next year.
Then ask them to identify the goal they will focus on during the
next 90 days. This way, when you meet for the review, you can
discuss their progress toward achieving their goals. You can ask
the following questions to facilitate discussion during a
tools do you need to accomplish your goals?
Hold merit review
sessions separate from performance reviews:
Based on the performance review, your employee may be
due for a merit increase. A merit review gives you the opportunity
to discuss why or why not the employee received a pay increase and
what they can do to earn the next one. Especially if business is
down and pay raises are impossible, during this review, you can
recognize the employeeâ€™s hard work and explain why they have not
received a raise.
A merit increase
should be based upon four things:
tough times, especially, itâ€™s important that your employees
understand their true pay. They should know the value of their
benefits and their true wage. Annually, with their W-2, attach a
breakdown of the true dollar per hour each team member earns,
including all benefits, with a Total Pay Statement.
Let your employees know that this is the time to dig deep
into the business! There is always work to do; make the most of down
time by “digging deep” into development of systems. Tough
times call for tough strategies….and tough times donâ€™t last but
tough people do! Acknowledge your strengths, congratulate the team
on what they do well and focus energy where you might do better.
Read other articles and learn more about
Rhonda R. Savage.
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