At times like this –
Your people are more important than ever!
Whatever your thoughts about the result of the EU referendum last week, one thing we are now very much aware of is that we are entering a period of considerable uncertainty.
The furore and fall out from the vote is hard to ignore and whilst we must leave the politicians to manage the process of withdrawal and to inform us when they have triggered Article 50 it is probably more important than ever that you provide support and re-assurance to your staff.
However much people put a brave face on things it is highly likely that many of your employees are worried. They will be concerned about what the future holds, how it will impact upon them and they will worried about short term concerns such as rising prices and the possibility of another slump or recession.
We’d only just started to properly emerge from the last recession and people will have very clear memories about the problems they faced.
Now more than ever your business will rely on your employees to do a great job to keep your business moving. At the same time your employees need your re-assurance that, at least for the time being, everything is ok.
Times like these put employer/employee relationships to the test and you need to ensure that you both play your part.
Communication is vital and you should consider the best way to communicate with your staff. The way you do this will largely depend on the size and structure of your business. We would stress how important personal communication is – that means speaking with people, in person!
Try and put yourself at the receiving end of any communication before you do anything, how would you react to receiving a one size fits all email, text message or letter? Not well.
Speak with your staff in small groups (larger organisations will need to devise a consistent message and use their managers to cascade the message throughout the business) and explain to them that as things stand at the moment that nothing has changed, that business continues as normal. Explain that you will communicate with them should anything change and that in the meantime, you require everyone to work at their best level to ensure that the business not only survives, but hopefully thrives as a result.
Engage with your staff and seek their input on ways they think that the business can improve. Your employees can often be the best source of innovation and ideas. Encourage them to do well and recognise their efforts and achievements during this turbulent time.
Make yourself accessible, if people do have worries or concerns, whether real or imaginary, listen to them and try and help in any way you can.
Your people are your most important asset, they are one of your most significant investments and they needed supporting and nourishing in times like these.
Employee engagement is vital – ignore your employees at your peril!