Business owners tackle adversity in different ways. Tempting as it may be to keep your head down and plow ahead, now is the time when your employees are looking to you on how to deal with the economic crisis. Don’t let their imaginations run wild.
Half of all employees still haven’t heard from their leaders about the impact of the crisis, and more than two-thirds say they’d rather hear something than nothing, reports a survey by Weber Shandwick. And 70% fear their companies are in for rough sledding.
Here’s how you can calm the troops:
1. Talk with your people. Level with them. Explain best-case and worst-case scenarios, based on conditions you anticipate. Describe the company’s cash flow and use of credit.
2. Explain what steps you’ve taken so far to secure its finances. Describe what recourse it has if conditions worsen.
3. Solicit your people’s ideas on getting through the crisis and how to find new revenue sources, shore up existing ones, cut costs and identify alternative supply chains. Follow through on them. Act quickly. Discuss any new opportunities for growth.
4. Stay reassuring and upbeat, despite the serious economic conditions.
5. Move swiftly if layoffs become necessary, and don’t let people find out through deactivated e-mail accounts.
Bottom line: Instill confidence and trust.