You know how the economy’s impacting your business. But employees don’t have the info you do so they might be getting nervous — whether they have a reason to be, or not. Here’s 5 tips to help keep productivity up through the recession.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you’ve heard about the doom and gloom outlook for the economy, and so have your employees. According to the news, the economic outlook’s dire. Employees need some reassurance to keep the worrying at bay, and productivity from plummeting.
Here are five tips to help your company weather the recession.
- Calm employees’ fears about the state of the company. Your employees know the economy’s tight. So even if your company’s weathering the storm just fine, or even profiting off of the economic shift, employees may be getting the jitters. Let them know how the company’s faring, that there won’t be any layoffs — if that’s true — and that you’re on top of any problems. Easing their worries is relatively easy — communicate with them — and it resolves a lot of potential problems. Employees who know what’s going on are less likely to go looking somewhere else for employment.
- Keep employees from panicking. There have been economic slowdowns in the past, and the company’s worked through them. This one is only temporary and most companies will pull through. Let employees know that there are steps in place to weather any hardships brought on by the economy. Asking their input on such things could put their mind at ease. For example, before you take out your red pen and strike through all of your programs, survey employees. See what they like, don’t like and will never use. You may be surprised at what you can get rid of without hurting your employees. Just make sure your survey digs deep and gets answers you can use.
- Avoid the discount demon. Who doesn’t like a sale? Well, your bottom line probably doesn’t. Sales may be tempted to offer discounts for a quick boost, but over the long haul you know they may actually hurt more than help. According to your customers, if you’ve discounted your price, they’re probably getting a subpar product. Take a cue from McDonald’s and Burger King. Both fast food moguls discounted their burgers so much that their customers wouldn’t pay full price anymore. It’s taken them years to get over the margin problem they created. So if Sales wants to make your products more affordable, do it deliberately and by lowering the price instead of discounting.
- Leave your marketing budget alone. Marketing’s another easy target to cut back on. The reasoning: People aren’t buying more now anyway, so why bother? That couldn’t be further from the truth. Consumers are still buying all sorts of products and services, including yours and your competitors. Since your competition’s probably eyeing their marketing budget too, you may want to leave yours alone. You’ll come out on top in the end by not giving marketing ground to the competition.
- Stick to your guns. There’s probably a reason your company only targets certain types of customers. Encourage marketing not to give into the temptation of spreading too thin by trying to attract customers you never have before. Granted the company may wish to expand your services or product appeal, but be careful you don’t alienate the good customer base you have now. Focus on current customers and on serving them better.