I recently wrote a few articles on the topic of staff redundancies. This time, I thought I would try to be a little more optimistic and look at leadership in preparation for growth.
An important part of being a business leader is to be optimistic about the business. You should always be focused on the sustainability and growth of the business. This includes the way in which you package and deliver news to staff, clients and the market in general. Cultivating a positive corporate attitude will ensure that your business is in the best possible position once the economy picks up.
A key ingredient to your business’ success is your people. Being optimistic about the business also requires you to be aware of the mood of your staff. Are they laughing less? Are there less lunchtime sporting activities played? Less team participation, even in the fun stuff? Are people are taking longer breaks? Is there an emptiness in their eyes? Do they still feel as passionate towards their role or the projects that they are working on?
During a down-turn phase, the standard fix for low morale and a negative attitude towards the business isn’t available to you – they cost money. So how do you show leadership during this time that will see you through to the growth phase?
Keeping a positive view of the sustainability and eventual growth of the business is important. Clearly defining the business’s vision on how to achieve this should be made known to your staff. All leaders (and this includes those people who are perceived leaders) should be spreading that same message. It is also important to mention the tough decisions being made, but in context of the positive message on sustainability and growth. The message can be easily spread without costing money. Here’s a few suggestions that don’t cost any money:
- On a regular basis, randomly choose someone to have coffee or lunch with. Use that opportunity to listen to their concerns and to deliver your positive message about the sustainability and growth of the business.
- Be more visible. Take the time to visit each floor or each site of your business. Walk through and talk to people, again taking that opportunity to deliver your positive message about the sustainability and growth of the business.
You should also get your business leaders to do the same within their circle of influence. Gather the information you and your leaders have gathered and revise how you are packaging your positive message. It may be that new issues need to be sewn into your message, or a different tact taken.
Once you have your staff on the side of the business, you are in the best position you can be to lead your business back into the growth phase.