How to Keep Your People in Tough Times

January 22, 2018 | In Insights

Active engagement of individuals is the key to retaining quality people through the tough times. Keeping people in tough times helps businesses prepare for the good times. Those times are coming, and focusing on the number one asset all businesses have is essential.

Anyone who thinks that employees go to work just to do their job and nothing else are kidding themselves. We spend 50% of our lives in the workplace, so it needs to be about more than just carrying out a bunch of tasks each day.

People always look to belong to something larger than themselves even if they are not consciously aware of this. Human beings need to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of tribe, and a sense of achievement. They need to feel as if they are actively contributing and leaving their mark, a legacy if you like.

In times of economic uncertainty, companies have a tendency to focus on saving money and increasing billable work.

We’re business owners, so we completely understand the need to be focused on cash flow when times are tough. However, times will be tougher still if all else is lost in the drudgery of only focusing on money (or the lack thereof). We believe that what you think about, comes about. Mind your thoughts and get into gear to think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Think about how to win more clients and gain more income, rather than focussing on what you currently lack.

The companies that understand the importance of employee focus, take action to ensure that their people can still see their purpose and where they can add value. They go about causing an effect rather than relying on the economy to get better before doing anything. These companies have truly engaged people.

Losing people does not necessarily refer to them walking out the door, although this may well be the end result. It means having people working for you who are in a state of apathy. This is dangerous as it breeds a toxic and unproductive atmosphere. It’s far worse than people actually standing up and leaving as there is less compulsion to do anything.

When times are tough, go back to the basics. Keep people energised. Look at things that need to be rewritten, or introduced, consider processes that need fixing, the things and conversations that get overlooked when business is booming. Get prepared for the next success journey; it’s more likely to come if you have a focus on your people as they too will be focused on the business’s success.

Though it may take time for economic changes to affect your industry in a positive way in, look after your people, listen to them and engage with them now. If you don’t you’ll have no team to support the increased business when it comes, and you’ll have to start all over again. You’ll be behind those who have kept the engagement up during the harder times. Where you place your focus is where you place your energy. Energy equals outcome, so make sure you’re focusing on the right things.

We can help you find the right balance in your business. Chat to us on (08) 6188 7502.