The events of the last few months have had a dramatic impact on the financial state of many companies however, while it is important to recognise this and plan for how the businesses revenue can be increased, it is just as important to beware of how this period may have impacted on the morale and emotional wellbeing of your workforce.

The human component of rebuilding the business requires as much focus as the financial elements. Staff who have been away from the workplace for several weeks, and who have now returned to a new environment where some of their former colleagues are no longer present, may be feeling quite unsettled.

Rebuilding workplace morale is an important step in rebuilding the business with business owners and managers needing to be purposeful in addressing any concerns held by the staff regarding the security of their ongoing employment and the new focus and direction of the company. There are many ways to enhance the workplace culture after a major event has torn this apart, including:

  • Providing regular communication updates on key business activities
  • Celebrating achievements
  • Encouraging cross-functional collaboration between individuals and teams
  • Sharing a positive vision of the future
  • Investing in the staff through providing training opportunities

Often it is assumed that staff who have survived a restructure or redundancy process will feel motivated and grateful that they still have a job however, studies conducted by Outplacement Provider companies confirm that surviving team members face unique challenges that can hurt their productivity and that 43% of companies are not prepared for the impact of ‘survivor grief’.

Anxiety about the future, and about job security (wondering what is going to happen next), can impact on the ability of staff to fully re-engage in their duties and responsibilities and can create a demoralising and less than productive environment with studies indicating that the effects of this can continue for in excess of three months after a major event.

Helping staff to develop resiliency will assist in this re-engagement occurring more rapidly with the desired outcome being able to enable staff to focus on a positive future as opposed to the drama of the preceding period. Resiliency can be achieved through:

  • Implementing practices that cause the workforce to ‘regroup’ through involving staff in the establishment of the new vision for the future – i.e. Facilitating group think-tank sessions
  • Rebuilding trust in owners and managers through demonstrating that you are investing in the staff as well as the overall business
  • Offering opportunities for staff to take on new responsibilities

The future success of the business will be largely based on the degree of engagement existing between individual employees and their outcome expectations. Owners and managers should not therefore simply assume that this is going to occur based on a belief that the employee will be grateful to still have a job with this requiring a deliberate and planned approach over the next two to three month period.

If you need any specific advise or support in helping to rebuild trust and resiliency amongst your staff please feel free to give us a call.

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