Keep your Staff Inspired

Accomplishing an Engaged and Spirited Work Force

The recent downturn in our economy has caused all organizations to evaluate how they are doing business. This has included focusing on “core business”, restructuring product offerings, right-sizing resources, office space and a microscopic view of spending. This has resulted in, for many organizations, a cutback on resources, compensation, incentive plans and number of hours in their workweek. One of our biggest challenges has been managing our remaining resources and assisting them through these difficult times. How you manage, communicate and appreciate these workers will be vital.

The following are some techniques that have been used effectively to help take clear, flexible action to accomplish an engaged and spirited workforce:

1.     Communicate with your team. It’s critical to keep people informed of what is going on as the old saying goes ”what people are not up on, they are often down on”.

2.     Create a supportive work environment. Morale can drop because people may feel vulnerable and helpless. What can you do to reduce those feelings and make people feel supported and nurtured?

3.     Focus on short-term objectives. Don’t try and eat the elephant in one bite.

4.     Involve people. What people are involved with they usually support.

5.     Give more feedback than usual. Ensure people always know where they stand.

6.     Allow for resistance. Help people let go of the “old”. Prepare to help those having special difficulty making the adjustment.

7.     Give people a chance to step back and take a look at what is going on. Keep asking, “Is the change working the way we want it to?”

8.     Collaborate. Build bridges from your work group to other work groups. Look for opportunities to interface your activities, and for opportunities for senior managers to communicate what is happening in their areas and with their groups.

9.     Monitor the change process. Check in with people to find out how they are responding to the change.

Also, remember to reward and share the gains by:

1.     Creating incentive for special effort.

2.     Celebrating by creating public displays acknowledging groups and individuals who have helped make things happen.

3.     Catch people doing something right.