Are you looking after your employees?

wanted to follow up my post titled “In a downturn, people are vital” with a few more thoughts on the subject.

In that post, I said that “employees are your most important asset in any economy”…which is absolutely true.  I started thinking about that comment and realized that although many people might agree, you might not really understand what that means.

  • In good times, companies are more willing to pay out bonuses.  In bad times, bonuses disappear.
  • In good times, companies are hiring the best and brightest and salary can be negotiated based on experience and need.  In bad times, companies  revert to their ‘standard practices’ of paying ‘market rates’ regardless of how experienced the person is.
  • In good times, companies will ask for employees to give 110 percent.  In bad times, they ask for 350%.
  • In good times, training is plentiful.  In bad times, training is non-existent.
  • In good times, lunches and perks are plentiful.  In bad times, employees are lucky to get a free pizza for their efforts.

Does anyone see an issue here?

Why should we only treat employees well during the good times?

If you are an employer in a bad economy, your focus is on saving money and riding out the bad times.  Wrong move.  Your focus should be on growing your employees and making them happier than they were during the good times.

Why?  It’s simple.

During bad times, jobs are hard to come by so people will put up with a lot of crap.  But…when the market picks up, those people that have been worked to death and feel neglected will go somewhere else.  They WILL go somewhere else.

If you are a manager, ask yourself this question:

Do I want any of my team members to go work for my competitor?  If the answer is no (as it should be) you better be treating your people right or they will most likely end up somewhere else as soon as the economy picks up.

When times are tough, its tough  to spend on your employees…but many times, the simplest things will go a long way.  Don’t work your team too hard.  Say Thank You.  Take your team out to lunch. Send your staff to training courses…or at least allow them to take some time during the week to do some self-study.

The simple things will help you make it through a downturn in the economy and be ready to blow competitors away.

Anyone have any other ideas that can help during rough times?  Let me know in the comments.

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  • http://www.ThePowerOfGoodwill.cm Janet Smith

    Eric,
    I couldn’t agree with you more! Employers who feel justified in neglecting their employees during the tough times will pay a hefty price. Those employees will have no loyalty, and probably won’t hesitate to criticize the company to friends, family, neighbors…and customers. And as you say, they’ll jump ship at the first opportunity. Thank you so much for linking to my blog in this post. It’s amazing how much employees appreciate being appreciated!
    –Janet

  • http://ericbrown.com Eric D. Brown

    Hi Janet – Thanks for the comment.

    You are absolutely correct. How you treat your employees (during good times and bad) is something that can make a huge difference in how the public (customers) reacts to that organization.

    You are welcome on the link…great blog.

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