The importance of motivating employees during a downturn or business restructuring

Friday, 19 August 2011 12:09

Motivating employees is crucial during a downturn

Motivating employees is crucial during a downturn

The task of motivating employees is something companies should always be aware of, but there are some periods when it takes on additional importance – such as during a market downturn or while a business is being restructured.

It is always a good idea to keep your staff informed of what is happening within your organisation, even if the news is bad. Workers value knowing where they stand and trusting them with that information will help to ensure relations between staff and the senior management team remain cordial.

But the downside of your workforce being aware that the company is struggling or that you plan to make major changes to the way the business is structured is that they will worry. It is natural for people to think the worst and concerns about job security and salary levels can distract employees – and can even lead to key staff members looking for other jobs at a time you need their skills and experience most.

It is crucial that you take steps to encourage all your employees to stay focused during periods such as these. Maintaining a high level of customer service in order to help with client retention is key during times when your business is struggling, while you are also likely to need worker cooperation to achieve efficiency savings during any restructuring programme.

One of the best ways to keep staff members motivated is to ensure they are aware that their efforts are valued by the company. Simple things such as remembering to say thank you for a job well done help to engender a positive atmosphere in any organisation, but you may want to do something more tangible.

Reward schemes for employees can help to keep them enthused about their jobs and give them something to work towards. If the company has made people redundant or imposed a salary freeze, it would be both impractical and inappropriate for this kind of programme to feature expensive items – but the chance to earn gift cards or vouchers can give people extra incentive to focus on their roles in the organisation.

Such staff rewards work best when they are personalised, so try to ensure your programme has something that all your employees would value. Offering workers who qualify a choice of vouchers from a range of retailers is a good idea.

Another technique that helps to motivate employees is to present them with more stimulating work. Giving staff members with potential the incentive of a reward for completing a project that will really stretch them is a great way to keep them interested.



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