While many employers have taken the steps necessary to stay afloat during the recession, some workers have felt neglected and frustrated by the process.
Once the dust settles from layoffs, pay freezes and other cutbacks, employers are left with a group of staffers with a wide range of negative emotions.
Here are four proven ways to rebuild worker morale and productivity:
1. Game plan
Decide how the cutbacks will be communicated to those who will be left standing. Work out how you’ll reassign tasks ahead of time, and communicate why the changes were necessary.
Also, outline your company’s long-term recovery plan and how employees will contribute to that plan.
2. Let them talk
Two common reactions to cutbacks are anger and fear. Give employees a chance to vent their emotions and postpone your response until later — after workers have made all their feelings clear.
Positive body language, eye contact and nodding your head show that you care without having to say a word.
3. Keep their trust
It’s natural for people to feel defensive when cutbacks occur. These four actions will help you ease their minds and maintain employees’ trust:
- Show concern
- Be straightforward and honest
- Avoid getting defensive yourself, and
- Acknowledge and celebrate successes (whether big or small).
4. Set up training
As employees’ responsibilities shift, odds are many will need additional training — and developing training plans prior to any cuts will make the transition easier.
Tip: Assess which employees have a positive outlook about the changes. These workers will make the best leaders, whom people can go to for training and with questions during the transition.