If a company is going to survive the current economic storm and thrive again, there’s one thing it absolutely, categorically can’t do without: its people. And that means that even if times get tough, a company needs to continue to invest in its top people, even if other expenses and cost structures are being slashed.
Here are some ways to keep your people motivated and happy:
Give top performers a greater role in decision-making. They’re considered good employees for a reason, and now is the time to help flatten the hierarchy.
Use cash incentives if possible, but be stricter about tying cash to performance.
Slot top players into better positions. In other words, give them promotions. Even if you’re forced to consider a reduction in force, put the good people where they can make the most impact and feel the most valued.
Don’t let up on promoting and promulgating your employment brand. What aspects of your culture make your employees feel happy to work there?
An economic downturn can be a tremendous opportunity to gain market share at the expense of weaker, less nimble competition. But the only way to do that—and to come out on top when it’s all over—is to continue to invest in your top performers.
Burton M. Goldfield
President and CEO
San Leandro, Calif.
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