Monday, October 20, 2008

Tough Financial Times Cause Problems for Management

Posted by Amanda Walsh

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Sarah Needleman, compiled for PR Tactics and The Strategist Online by Greg Beaubien, managers are now dealing with the difficult challenge of maintaining worker productivity and morale.

Needleman's article stated that, "Ceridian Corp., an employee-assistance provider in Minneapolis, saw a 30 percent jump last month in calls from managers seeking help with
uneasy workers, compared with September 2007."

There has been an increase in employee personal calls, unproductive online time, late arrivals, and rumors about the companies' fates. Continuing to do their own jobs as well as managing the stress of employees has caused managers to reach out for assistance during these tough times.

Experts interviewed in the Journal offered the following advice for managers:

• Be as candid as possible about a company's prospects - good or bad.
• Tell employees that the best way to safeguard their jobs is to boost the company's prospects by staying productive.
• Maintain productivity and buoy workers' spirits during the financial crisis by sticking to routines, moderating discussions in which employees can express their emotions, being reasonable about work expectations, and offering outside help from available support services.

Keeping employee spirits up in tough times may be a difficult task but the above tips should help. This situation calls for the same principles that apply to crisis communications, relaying factual information quickly and efficiently and sticking to information you know is correct.

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