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FLEXO Magazine : March 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES Rally Your Employees in Tough Times Point Toward a Better Future By Chris Witt T he economy isn't in the best shape. Maybe you've noticed. Your employees certainly have. And prognostications by economists (how bad will it get? how long will it last?) pro- vide little comfort. "This has translated into less productivity at work," according to a report by CNN, "because of anxieties about salary, heavy workload, and job security." What's a boss to do? There is no easy answer, no quick fix, no one solution. But business leaders at every level-from CEOs to line managers- can do something to address their employees' worries and to rekindle their motivation. They can give a speech. A speech in difficult times can be anything from a formal com- pany-wide address to casual remarks at the start of a new shift. But the intent is always the same: to keep employees focused, motivated and working hard. - To make your speech more motivating, follow these guidelines: · Lead with the facts. Be as open, honest and forthcoming as possible. Give a complete account of the situation as ob- jectively as you can. If you hold anything back or if you are evasive, you will feed your employees' fear and compromise your credibility. · Acknowledge people's feelings. You don't want to turn your speech in to a therapy session, handing out Kleenex and en- couraging people to have a good cry. But if you ignore your employees' feelings, they will think that you're out of touch or, worse, that you don't care. Acknowledge their feelings in a general way, using broadly applicable words like difficul- ties, worries, concerns, anxieties or fears. Acknowledge what MARCH 2009 www.f I exog ra p hy.o rg FLEXO
Sustainable Winter 2009