The economy is one of the biggest influences on productivity for many companies right now. Faced with tighter budgets and uncertainty about economic stability in the immediate future, many company leaders are being forced to operate under tougher, more stressful conditions as they continue to recover from the recession.
Maximizing employee productivity is essential during this recovery period. It’s important for leaders to understand what drives productivity in their workplace and create an environment focused on rebuilding. Understanding what is influencing your workforce, both positively and negatively, is the key to maintaining your employees’ drive and focus.
Keep up the hard work.
Traditionally, during periods of recession, individual employee productivity spikes as fears about job security mount and companies begin to cut hours or downsize. As the economy enters recovery, businesses will begin to rebuild their workforce and add more hours, relieving the burden placed on employees forced to pick up the slack from workers who were laid off during the recession. During the recovery period, stressing the importance of maintaining productivity is imperative, and leaders should be sure their employees understand that though things are getting better, the company is not completely out of the woods yet.
Maintain a strong workforce.
Many workers laid off during the recession who were forced to take jobs outside their preferred field or skill level will begin to look for new opportunities as soon as the job market opens up again. It’s important for employers to identify those employees and encourage them to remain with the company by emphasizing opportunities for advancement or offering incentives to stay. It’s also important to recognize employees who may have been overworked during the recession. Workers who feel their hard work during went unappreciated may also seek new job opportunities. Losing strong members of a workforce during a recovery period could affect productivity levels and potentially derail any progress your company made climbing out of the recession.
And finally, it’s important to keep a close eye on employee morale. It’s unlikely anyone is going to come out of this recession without feeling a little beat down and exhausted. Remember, many of your employees may still be upset about losing a co-worker. Some may still feel the strain of having their hours or pay reduced. Assure them the company has not forgotten about the sacrifices they’ve made and share with them your strategies for recovery. Plan an outing or team event designed to relieve stress and boost morale. And, be sure to keep your employees informed of the company’s recovery progress. Just knowing there is a plan in place and that you appreciate continued commitment can go a long way toward maintaining productivity.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who went untouched by the recession, so take time to assess your company and your workforce, and develop a plan for reconstruction. The companies that commit to rebuilding momentum and increasing productivity now are the ones that will emerge the strongest