Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Times

Maintaining Employee Morale During Tough Times

Let’s face it, even in the best of times the economy can always add a layer of stress to life. Gas prices, higher food costs, layoffs – can all weigh heavily on your employees. According to the American Institute of Stress, occupational fears are the leading source of strain for Americans. So what can you do as an HR professional to help alleviate your employee’s anxiety without adding cost to your already reduced budget?

Here are some inexpensive suggestions employers can use to help morale when times are tough:

  • Be honest and inform employees on the economic status of the company. If business is good, discuss new projects and contracts. If business is not so good, focus on the integrity of the company and its management.
  • Let employees know you care.  By providing information to staff about how to stretch a dollar, or where to find gas cheapest, you’re letting them know you understand their pain.
  • Training is key. Although budgets are tight, find an inexpensive local training seminar or conference to show your employees you value their career growth.
  • Lateral moves. Keep your employees happy by allowing them to make lateral moves into jobs with more interesting work.
  • Help foster a sense of community and teamwork. You can better build morale by bringing staff together by participating in relief efforts, green projects or spearheading a holiday food drive.
  • Accommodate flexible working hours. Allowing flex time, telecommuting or extra days off for special needs can help energize your staff.

Other options might include achievement awards or sending flowers as a token of appreciation to the spouses of staff members who have been putting in a lot of overtime. The possibilities are endless but in both good times and bad, little things can keep employee morale up and thereby further preventing loss of productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

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