What do organisations need to do to be able to bounce back once this economically gloomy period is over?
A discussion on the radio this morning was about whether the first green shoots of recovery from recession were appearing. The discussion was inconclusive and extended the green metaphor to suggest that we could also expect a lot of weeds, but highlighted once again the fact that no-one really knows how or when things are going to pick up.
The thing is that once things do get start to turn around, recovery is probably going to take as many by surprise as did the speed of the downturn last year, and a lot of organisations may be caught on the hop. Having cut back, streamlined, pruned, and cut down again to make do with fewer resources, for many it will be tough to keep up once things start to speed up again if the organisation hasn’t kept its remaining staff motivated and its systems up to date.
Probably the most important thing to maintain some level of motivation is to keep communication open across all areas of the organisation. After months of gloomy predictions from every media outlet and economic “expert”, worries about their own jobs and, for many, the loss of colleagues and friends from their work environment, motivation may well be at rock bottom. As anyone who has ever commuted will know, silence from the driver about what is going when there is obviously a problem on the line can be at the least frustrating and at the worst generate fear and anger. The last thing any team needs when it’s stretched to capacity is to be left just to get on with it. Regular bulletins will help keep everyone on track to be ready to harvest those shoots once they do start appearing.