We have all heard the saying that ‘No news is good news’ but that is rarely the case when running a business.
In the present economic times your employees will be aware of pressures on your business, they will know of friends who have been made redundant and of companies that have failed, so don’t keep them in the dark about what is happening with your business.
If your employees are more engaged then they will be more productive, this does not mean paying them more but including them in conversations about your business, whether this be related to their direct area of responsibility or not.
We worked with a client a few years back who lost a key contract and couldn’t afford to keep all his staff. He also knew that if a new contract was won then he would need to replace the staff he lost.
Rather than keep the issue inside the boardroom, he gathered his staff together and explained the scenario to them. The bottom line was that labour costs need to reduce by half until a new contract came in. Within his staff, two decided to take an extended break and travel for three months, two decided they could job share and work part time, the others decided to take half pay for three months, if they would be repaid the drop in salary when the new contract came through.
This resulted in labour costs being lower than the 50% the directors wanted and no redundancy was paid.
Three months later, the business had won new contracts, all staff were back on full pay and those who took a pay cut are seeing their monthly salaries gradually increase to ensure they are paid back. We talked to the staff and it is abundantly clear how loyal they are, how wanted they feel, and how much each of them feels involved with the company.
From a potential nightmare scenario this business now has some of the most engaged and committed staff we have ever seen.
It proves that including staff on ‘problem’ discussions can offer solutions you never thought existed, it also proves that sharing bad news can actually be the best thing to do.
If you want to know more about this case, or if it relates to what you are going through then please contact us.
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