10 Ways to Help Employees Deal with Economic Crisis

By Roy Saunderson

With the economy in dire straits, it’s more important than ever for managers to ensure that their employees stay motivated and focused on the tasks at hand—or else their teams’ productivity may be the next thing to come crashing down.

Here are 10 surefire strategies to keep your staff inspired:

1. Shorten the work week to four days with extended work hours. This will increase productivity and provide flexibility to your staff.

2. Give a holiday turkey to each employee. Include a card acknowledging the difficult economic times and expressing appreciation for everyone’s hard work. (The explanatory card should minimize the expectation for this being repeated each year).

3. Facilitate car pooling by providing a central site for posting and coordinating rides. Consider offering a gas card as a reward for those who stick with this for a specified time period.

4. Hold regular one-on-one meetings with employees to learn of their financial situation and their stress levels. Train your managers to pick up on employee needs and behaviors. Bring in stress and financial experts for companywide seminars to address issues of concern and offer smaller group/individual planning workshops.

5. With 401Ks down and the Dow so volatile, employees may be reluctant to spend money on Saturday night fun. Rewarding employees with movie passes or restaurant certificates for excellent work will be particularly appreciated during these hard times.

6. Keep the channels of communication open. Boost morale by having senior leaders conduct regular meetings with employees to keep them up to date about what is going on with the company and to solicit their ideas on how to improve productivity and efficiency.

7. Provide childcare services or set up a day care opportunity close to the office to lessen child care travel time and expenses for employees. If the daycare facility is not too far away, arrange a group rate fee structure, or maybe provide a shuttle to transport parents and kids to and from work.

8. Encourage wellness. Make exercise programs and gym equipment available or offer to contribute to health club fees so employees can stay fit and deal more effectively with stress.

9. Work with your local chamber of commerce to see what after-hours shopping discounts can be arranged to assist employees with saving money. It will be a win-win outcome for the retail businesses hit by the downturn.

10. Take time to write an individual thank-you note to each employee expressing sincere gratitude and appreciation for his or her contributions to the company.

Author Bio:
Roy Saunderson is the author of Giving the Real Recognition Way. He is president of Recognition Management Institute (www.realrecognition.com), which consults with companies on improving employee motivation leading to increased productivity and profits. Contact him at RoySaunderson@realrecognition.com

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