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Are you stepping up during this crisis?

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in Leaders & Managers

Tempting as it may be to keep quiet, 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 new survey by Weber Shandwick. And 70% fear their company is in for rough sledding. A hefty 60% worry that their company will have trouble hitting its goals.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Talk with your people. Level with them, and explain best-case and worst-case scenarios, based on conditions you anticipate in the marketplace. Describe the organization’s cash flow and use of credit.

2. Explain what steps your organization’s leaders have 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.

4. Discuss any new opportunities
for growth.

5. Stay reassuring and upbeat, despite the serious economic conditions.

6. Move swiftly if layoffs become necessary, and don’t let people find out through deactivated e-mail accounts.

Bottom line: Instill confidence and trust.

— Adapted from “Confidence Cracks,” David J. Lynch, USA Today.

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