Top 5 Tips for managing your people in the current economic climate
1. Lead your business and be visible
It is so important to set a clear business direction and vision and to be honest about the current business challenges but positive about the future. Set up regular updates both face to face and via e mail to keep employees informed of business progress.
2. Think imaginatively about how to reduce costs.
Think about streamlining processes, changing working patterns where people can be more productive and ask your employees for ideas, you’ll be surprised how many there are.
Remember that making people redundant and recruiting later is expensive and has a big impact on how people feel about working for you. Think about other options such as reduction in overtime, introduction of short time working, short term pay cut or retraining into areas of the business that are more profitable
3. Ensure you are making best use of your people
- Know the strengths and skills of each of your employees
- Set each employee clear targets which are regularly reviewed
- Ensure employees have a regular opportunity to input their views
- Provide opportunities for flexible working that suit the business and the employee
- Think about inexpensive ways of recognising an employee’s contribution – e.g. thank you note, unexpected time off, fish and chips on a Friday
- Listen carefully and keep your door open for people
4. Equip your managers with the right skills
- Don’t expect your managers to demonstrate skills they don’t have – give thought to upskilling your managers, think about performance management, effective 1 to 1s and getting people motivated
- Share best practice and what works – make people a fixed agenda item on your weekly meeting
- Brief managers in full on developments, so they can talk to their people face to face
- Lead by example, ensure people managed by you receive the same support as you expect them to give
5. If you do need to make redundancies, seek advice
Remember it is not only the impact on employees impacted but on employees remaining. Get it wrong and it could have a dramatic business impact e.g. decline in productivity, customer service, loss of your best people, increase in absence and ultimately your business reputation.
Change is often difficult but can bring opportunities with a positive mindset and a clear plan of action.