Inflation is high and the economy is down. Many American workers are overwhelmed by looming threats to their job security.
By the close of 2022, a surge of layoffs hit dozens of U.S. companies — from IBM to Capital One to Spotify — with no signs of slowing down. And employees holding on to their jobs report that their pay isn’t keeping pace with inflation.
A recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study revealed that nearly 48% of HR professionals are concerned about impending budget cuts, while 86% worry about how economic uncertainty may affect employees’ lives.
Says SHRM CEO Johnny Taylor, “Employers recognize that inflation has a major impact on the well-being of their team.”
What can you do to boost morale at your organization, despite all this uncertainty? Here are some tips to help keep your employees motivated and engaged:
Be honest. Employees don’t want false reassurances. Instead, keep the lines of communication honest and transparent, allowing them to feel a range of emotions.
Invite your team into the difficult conversations like navigating job cuts. Speak candidly about where your company is heading and ask for their input. They may offer some insight and visibility, presenting new ideas and opportunities you haven’t considered.
Show your support. Seventy-seven percent of today’s employees have experienced burnout on the job. A help little goes a long way. Be available. Check in with your employees regularly to lend your support and listen. Inquire about what you can do to better support them, and encourage them to take breaks.
If there’s a labor shortage, they may have an increased workload, as you’re forced to do more with less. Help them reprioritize their work to cut back on nonessential projects and focus on revenue-building initiatives.
Strengthen bonds. In trying times, do what you can to foster connections among colleagues. You don’t need to invest in employee lunches or happy hours. Instead, dedicate time for your team to talk about non-working matters.
At the beginning of your next team meeting, ask about weekend plans, share streaming recommendations or photos of your pets. Outside the office, consider organizing a team volunteer event where you can collectively work toward helping the local community. Bottom line, you’re all human and you’re all in this together.
Lead by example. Your employees are looking to you for guidance in how to persevere in the current business climate.
Don’t tell them, but rather show them through your actions. It’s important to demonstrate resilience in how you maintain perspective, and your team will be more likely to follow suit.
Success starts from the top
A Gallup study revealed that employees work 20% better when they’re motivated. But when they feel frustrated, discouraged and left in the dark, you can expect morale to plummet. Make sure your workplace is a safe and positive space for the people who keep your business humming.
While the future is uncertain, there are ways that businesses can restructure and recalibrate to best prepare for any challenges ahead. Learn how Magone & Company can help.