How best to respond in uncertain times?
Images in the media of managers clearing their desks and heading for home with their possessions in cardboard boxes makes us all think about our own job security. So what should you do to maximise your chances of thriving through the credit crunch.
- Keep developing your staff – build their skills, knowledge and ability to add value on a weekly basis through coaching – being the leader of a high performing team is perhaps your ultimate protection.
- Continue to invest in your relationships with your team members – in a tightening labour market your best staff will be looking for an employer that allows them to really create value and maximise their potential. Poorer performers are likely to be keeping their heads down. IF it comes to having to make redundancies you need to know who you to retain and who you can afford to let go. Often it is the most able performers that take redundancy offers – confident in their ability to find new ways of making a living.
- Provide positive leadership messages. Yes times are hard but the fundamentals of good business remain the same. If we can increase quality and productivity and reduce costs then we will have an excellent opportunity to navigate through turbulent waters. This could be just the right time to ask team members of that little bit more effort – however if you have left it until now to start providing positive, robust management….
- Manage under performers robustly. You need to be rigorous but NEVER ruthless. Reinforce what you expect from them in terms of quality and performance at work. You really cannot afford to carry any passengers at this time and good people will be coming onto the labour market. Work as diligently and as professionally as you can to get people up to the standards you demand.
- Delegate more – and use coaching and feedback to make sure that delegation works. Use delegation to make sure that you have the time to focus on doing the things that matter most. Delegation enables you to create significantly more value for the business without increasing overheads.
- Keep your CV up to date and make sure that all of your professional accomplishments are recorded. Sometimes even the best managers are made redundant, so make sure to keep all of your networks well maintained.
- Invest more time in relationships with peers and your seniors. Use your networks to the max to get a clear picture of what is happening. Also use your networks to make sure that your team is getting a fair press and all of its achievements are recognised.
It is an unfortunate truth that tough times are sometimes when people are at their most responsive to the performance improvement message – and you will get recognition for making tough decisions. Get rid of the dead wood and watch the remaining talent flourish.