Once in a while, great companies have to execute tough decisions. Sometimes these tough decisions are things like: Work force layoffs, cutting expenses, freezing wages, suspending bonus etc. These decisions are meant for the greatest good of all employees and, many times, can create bad morale.
Here are five tips to help a leader through executing tough decisions:
1) Clearly explain the WHY behind the decisions. This can be done in large groups, small groups, one-on-ones, videos, and letters. Depending on your organization, it might be necessary to use all of these tactics in order to quell the rumors and uncertainty.
2) Model positive behavior. Don’t get caught up in the gossip of the negative reaction. Instead, model positive behavior. If you are up for it, speak up (gently) about the negative rumors.
3) Talk about the future. There are bright spots in the company that are clearly being out-shined by the negative reactions of the bad news. There are plenty of bright spots. Your job is to find them and amplify them.
4) Seek new solutions to some of the challenges that the company is facing. For example, if revenue is the issue, create a group of employees to find ideas and solutions not previously executed to create more revenue. Innovation is born out of uncertainty.
5) Encourage those around you. Find the great things employees are doing and acknowledge them. Publicly and privately recognize great contributions so people feel needed and wanted.
There are plenty of small things leaders can do to stem the negative morale in tough times. Take the time to look around your organization to find and speak about the positive.
Do you have questions about executing tough decisions within your organization? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org