How to Support and Motivate Teams During an Economic Downturn

The current economic climate is challenging for many businesses. As an Executive and HR Leader, it can be difficult to know how to best support and motivate teams during these uncertain times. But there are steps you can take to ensure your team has the resources and support needed to stay motivated and productive. 

Be Open and Honest with Your Team

The first step in keeping your team motivated is to be transparent with them about what’s happening. Let them know what changes have been made to cope with the current economic climate, such as budget cuts or layoffs. Being honest with your team will make them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and help them understand why these changes need to be made. Eric Yuen, CEO of Zoom, is a recent example of a CEO trying to be transparent with its workforce and ensuring its executives are not immune from pain or downsizing.

Don’t just cut back on People and Budgets

When a company is cutting back and resources, perks, and payouts, it is important to show the organization that you are making strategic choices to strengthen the company for the future. What projects and product features will we invest in or divest in during this phase of the company? What does the new product roadmap look like? What work has strategic value and should remain, and what can be stopped or delayed?

Provide Positive Reinforcement

When faced with an economic downturn, it’s easy for employees to focus on the negative aspects of their job or environment. To counteract this, provide positive reinforcement whenever possible. Acknowledge employees’ successes and thank them for their hard work. This will go a long way toward boosting morale and motivating employees to do their best even when times are tough.

Show That You Care About Their Wellbeing

It’s important for employers to show that they care about their employees’ well-being during an economic downturn and other times throughout the year. Consider offering flexible working hours/location or providing access to mental health resources if needed. These small gestures can make a big difference in creating an environment where employees feel supported and secure in their positions.

If people must leave, do it right

Your alumni network is meaningful. The employees remaining at your company will feel more committed to the organization, knowing its leaders are emphatic to those impacted by lay-offs.  Ensure to know who in your organization is underperforming or toxic. When teams are shrunk, nothing is more frustrating for employees to see than the jerks or slackers still employed. 

While navigating through an economic downturn can be difficult, there are steps employers can take to ensure their teams remain motivated throughout this trying time. By being open and honest with them, providing positive reinforcement, and showing that you care about their well-being, employers can create a positive environment that encourages productivity while still taking care of employee needs during these difficult times.

Ultimately, by taking these measures employers can ensure that their teams remain motivated despite any challenges they may face due to the economy.

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