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Six Management Tips for Trying Economic Times Part 1

(Part 1 of a three part series, today's tips 1 - 3) If you are like most managers I know, you are ... being asked to do more work with less ... And the same is true for your ... T

(Part 1 of a three part series, today's tips 1 - 3)

If you are like most managers I know, you are constantly being asked to do more work with less resources. And the same is true for your employees. This combined with layoffs, financial struggle and media stories of corporate corruption leaves many employees feeling more fearful for their jobs, more stressed out and more over-worked than ever before!!

As a manager, itís up to you to keep your staff productive and motivated. This is a tough job at any time, but especially now. So youíll need to spend extra time strategizing as to how you can accomplish your departmental goals with a stressed-out, over-worked staff.

The first thing you'll need to focus on is keeping your own attitude in check. It can be really easy to get discouraged when you are so busy and see no end in sight. But now, more than ever, itís up to you to be a good example for your employees.

Despite what you may think, your employees are looking to you for guidance and they are definitely paying attention to how you are handling things. Expressing an attitude thatís less than positive has a trickle down affect on your employees. Many employees figure that if you have a bad attitude, why shouldnít they? So take great strides to put on a happy face and show your employees that you've got things under control and are handling things just fine. Without being nauseating about it, please.

Demonstrating a good attitude has another great benefit. It helps you stand out from the crowd. Itís during the darkest days that stars shine the brightest, so try to be a star. Consider this time as an opportunity for you to show your superiors just how competent you really are. Rise above the negativity and uncertainty to do a stellar job and try to act like you're enjoying yourself. You will be rewarded for it!!

Now that your attitude is in good shape, youíll want to address the attitude of your employees. This is not the time to let employee negativity slide. Yes, employees are worried, but that doesnít give them the right to mouth off and create trouble. Offer your employees opportunities to communicate with you on a regular basis. Allow them to ask questions and voice their concerns. But donít allow them to spend precious work hours complaining to co-workers and stirring up further unrest. If you become aware of such activity, do what Barney Fife says -ďNip it, nip it, nip it!Ē

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to find time to communicate with your staff. You see, employees these days are bombarded with news coverage detailing corporate corruption, layoffs, bankruptcies and economic crisis. Therefore their radar systems are on high alert for any tidbit of info indicating that your company may be having major troubles. And this leads to speculation, rumors, decreased morale, decreased productivity and all around trouble!!
Consider scheduling regular informational-type meetings. Use this time to fill your employees in on corporate developments, and offer them an opportunity to ask questions. During these communications, it is vital that you be as honest as possible (without giving away any confidential company information, of course). Your staff will pick up on any attempt to be evasive, and this will only make them more nervous than ever. So when you can, just be honest!!
Let your staff know that you are willing to keep the lines of communication open and that any time they have a question, they should contact you.

Another way to keep the communication flowing is to spend more time in your department. Try to walk around and check in with people on a frequent basis. Let them see that you are accessible and that you are committed to keeping them abreast of important information.
This kind of attention will do wonders for the stress-level (and therefore productivity) of your employees. In trying times, most managers get really uncomfortable. As a result they tend to shut down and spend less time with their employees. Take the open-communication approach, and again, youíll stand out like a shining star. Itís a win for youFree Web Content, a win for our employees and a win for your company!!

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Molly Luffy, MBA, owner of Work Ethic Wizard, dedicated to helping managers regain their sanity and employees survive and thrive in todayís corporation.
Author of ďSuper-Charge Your Promotion Quotient: 225 Success Strategies for the New Professional.Ē

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