Managing your employees can be trickier in a depressed economy. In view of that, staffing services firm Robert Half International has issued a guide, “The 30 Most Common Mistakes Managers Make in an Uncertain Economy.”
The seven most prevalent mistakes are:
1. Thinking your staff can’t handle the truth. Treat your employees like partners. Talk to them openly about the effect the downturn is having on your business. This will help them feel that they have some control.
2. Blaming those at the top. If you have to deliver bad news to your employees and, in doing so, tell them that you would have handled matters differently if it had been up to you, you are actually telling them that you are out of sync with upper management. Instead, report the changes and the reasons for them including information about how your company will persevere.
3. Feeling people are lucky just to have a job. While this may be true, this is should not be used as an excuse to ignore your staff’s need for positive recognition and career support.
4. Failing to ask for employee help in expanding client relationships. Ask staff members for suggestions about what can be done to help achieve business goals without sacrificing productivity. Involve your team in efforts to generate new business.
5. Making work “mission impossible.” Hiring freezes and tighter budgets may mean that one person is doing the work of two or more people. If this is the case, then help your employees identify which projects are mission-critical.
6. Shifting focus from the front lines. Client service matters more than ever when times are tough. Make sure your front line has the right attitude and sends the right message.
7. Waiting to try new things. Even in times like these, playing it safe can backfire. If you have a promising new service or client niche you want to pursue, don’t wait for things to turnaround. Go ahead and act.
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