What’s Happening Boss?

April 8, 2009 by  Filed under: Management 

The question echoes through the halls of every company, big or small and across all industries.

Almost every day now we read about a company shutting its doors. Unfortunately, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Many close and go unreported. Isn’t it a shame to have built a company and have no one even notice it’s gone? Often in the closings, the employees are held in the dark until the announcement is made that the company is out of business and that the announcement day is in fact their last day. No notice. No notice at all.

Other companies are reducing their work force. Again the employees get little, or no notice. The uncertainty in this current economy and the potential for job loss is paramount today. Almost every family is affected, either directly or through a relative or close family friend. The jobless rate is at a high.

Ironically, internal communication between managers and employees tends to decrease as business declines. Many times managers themselves don’t know what is happening. When they do they don’t discuss it for a variety of reasons. The result is that it increases the fear and feeds the rumor mill.

We have been recommending over communicating. Human Resource experts recommend that a company, quickly and specifically, tailor communication to key employee groups. Upper managers and the HR team should pull together the top 5 percent of employees to discuss the business plan and to outline their commitment to these key employees. It is important to engage them early and express their value to the company. Making it clear to top performers that you want them to be a part of the solutions now and in the better times ahead, can go a long way in keeping the best and brightest. Keeping lines of communication open helps develop the supportive organizational culture and an uncommon willingness to sacrifice for the company in tough times. This culture-building focus helps leaders find alternatives to layoffs and win support for labor-preserving, cost-cutting moves. This is the win-win solution.

We continue to recommend that companies have specific plans that cause them to protect the core elements of the company and enable them to continue in operation. We have recommended many ways of best practices cost cutting. In this article we are strongly recommending that companies communicate effectively, regularly and often with all employees, particularly the key employees. Make them part of the solution.

Let us know how we can help.


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