Recession has put companies in a fix to cut on every possible things like resources, pay and expenditure etc. Recession has hit hard on the economy and companies are feeling the wrath so does their managers. Its evident that this recession is not going to leave soon, so what are the best managerial tips to manage your staff efficiently despite extraordinary marketplace pressures and decreased morale.
Managers have the responsibility to lead from the front and even take recession in a positive feeling (which is hard i know). Positivity must reflect in whatever you do as the team is looking towards you and want guidance all the time as usual.
What if you are supposed to deliver bad news to your staff, how you will deliver the news? how you will analyze things before you ask someone to meeting room? or how you will make others comfortable & productive who have survived the layoff decision?
All the above questions comes in mind but if you think wisely and analyze properly using your skills you would be following few things which i am going to mention below:
- Be objective and fair and gather facts : Before you make any critical decisions — such as whether to shutter a project or cut 10 per cent of your IT staff — evaluate all the options as if you were analysing a software package, so that you can make a cogent case for your plan. Your decision should reflect facts, prioritization & plan not your feelings.
- Talk to your staff quite often and in person : It is very important and shouldn’t be ignored. You must talk to your people often about what’s going on with the company, impending consequences, and what’s positive in the company’s future. Be as transparent as possible. Don’t tell white lies. Don’t surprise everyone with bad news if you’ve known about it for weeks. Don’t send out an email when you could organize a web conference or a group meeting. All of these things erode trust and make managers seem like impersonal clods, which makes for an unhappy workforce.
- Allow your staff to help make the tough decisions : If you are transparent enough and you allow your employees to help in making tough decisions then it is quite easier because its a unanimous decision and everyone is aware of it. This may include pay cuts, expenditure cuts etc. Keep in mind that nobody wants to loose their job and they may be willing for some marginal cuts if it saves company and their job.
- Sit on the Same Boat : Did you cut yourself out of the salary reduction plan? Its been observed that managers don’t put their own names in cuts and keep on enjoying the same perks but device a formula for others. It will be more trustworthy if you can show that even you have taken painful cuts and you are sitting on the same boat with them.
- Figure out other options first before planning cuts : If there’s any possible way you can save money without affecting your staff, look at those options first. Evaluate vendors: are you getting the best deal? Maybe it’s worth hiring an operational consultant to ensure you can get better contracts. Are you operating in a “green” fashion in terms of power management on your computer and networking equipment, minimizing use of lights and heat, reducing paper usage through double-sided printing, and so on? Again, ask your staff for ideas. These days, they might care less about free soda and coffee.
- Stay Cheerful : Think happy Be energetic! If the cheerleader style is your normal way of living, Take your staff out for a beer on Friday afternoon. Hire a comedian for an hour’s worth of fun. Give a pumped-up talk over a brown bag lunch. Because the power of positive thinking is huge. But if you’re not the first to laugh at jokes, and you’re cranky before having three cups of coffee, don’t act out of character.
- Don’t give up on professional development : Don’t ignore the employees who have been saved. Those left behind after layoffs are mind-boggled about their own future, not to mention the extra workload they will undoubtedly have to handle. Give them the benefit of your time through one-on-one meetings to discuss their issues, concerns and career goals. Provide talented employees the opportunity to job shadow, cross-train or even simply sit in on meetings with other groups to expose them to different career paths.
- Layoffs if extremely necessary: In case layoffs is the only option left in front of you, you owe it to your staff to spend the maximum effort possible in doing them accurately (this means you’ve done a thorough analysis of options), sensitively, and with full disclosure about how and why the cuts were made. Executives must communicate the message properly otherwise you are creating a negative impact and distrust. Give all the benefits and don’t cheat or cut on that otherwise people staying at the company have a sense that, wow this is unfair, they may not stay loyal to you.
- Keep up the fight for business alignment and ROI : In this economic recession climate, its better to stay true to the core IT goals of delivering business value and maximize efficiencies. The more you can show you are being responsible and strategic to your staff and higher-ups, the better for everyone. Plan for ROI and think about generating revenue more often.
- Look up to the Future : Everyone is stuck in the present right now: survival. For a change, spend a few hours each week thinking about, and talking about, your company and department’s future. What can you do that will deliver unique value to customers (internal and external) when the economy begins to recover? What can you do now that will help the business survive until then? This can be a positive and healthy way to deal with the stress of the moment.
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