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Where is our relationship heading?

I have to talk to you when you get home today…”. Now, that is a
scary sentence even for me, as a husband. When I was single, that
kind of sentence would make prepare for a breakup and maybe
even to initiate it myself so as to be the one doing the breaking-up
and not being the one broken-up with.

Today, many employees ask themselves where our relationship is
heading. They spend another day with uncertainty and worries
whether this is their last day at work; whether the next phone will
herald that their job is going to be terminated; whether at the
employees gathering the management will announce on cutbacks;
whether a personal summons to meet the boss is just for an
administrative coordination or maybe an announcement in the
version of: “It’s not you, it’s us”.

Here is the employer’s manual that includes the six rules for do and
don’t do regarding the relationships between an employer and an
employee, in times of crisis:

1. Don’t scare your employees. The tendency of employers is
to give their employees scary data about the current situation
of the business, in order to “prepare” them for what was to
come or to expect them to rip of their clothes and to revile a
superman suite so now they will double their production in
order to compensate the gap that was created. This kind of
attitude creates demoralization among employees which will
lead to low performances, spending time surfing the Internet,
not-for-work, and in general, the employee will try to escape
to a nice and quiet place in order to avoid thinking about his
work. The problem is that the employee will do it while he’s at
work, because the work is the place that made him
uncomfortable from the beginning.

2. “Together at good times and bad times”, that is the
message that should be delivered to the employees. The
manager should create the feeling that “we are a group, and
together we will win”. The manager should, at first, to
establish an action plan to handle the crisis, after all that is
the manager duty. Now, the manager should gather all the
employees and present to them the solution and ask for their
help to handle the situation. The manager should present the
action plan and share the employees as if they where a part of
the management board. The employees will get the feeling ofbelonging and will fell committed as now they are a part of the system, not just a “little screw” that can easily loose and fall.

3. No one wants to play with fire. Do not try to set ambitious
goals. A few days ago I met this manager who posted an
increase of 25% more than what was achieved at the year
2008. He didn’t understand why his staff is not trying to
achieve these goals. A brief examination reviled that among
the dozens of his branches, the most successful one has
reached the goal of 5% growth more than the year 2008 and
most of the brunches had achieved less in 5%-7% than the
2008’s turnovers. The employees stopped “playing the game”
and at first, the manager felt angry but later he neglected the
goals system. Setting an unreal goal causes upsets; lack of
achievements causes any person to withdraw from an activity
he had liked at the beginning. Imagine a child practicing JUDO
for two years and wants to participate in a regional
tournament, but due to the fact there where no children of his
age practicing JODU, he was assigned to a group of older and
much more experienced children than he his. In every round
he competes in, he’s not being able to stand on his feet for
more than 10 seconds in a row. After three rounds he loses,
he approaches his mother and tells her that JUDO is not for
him and he doesn’t want to practice it or to compete anymore.
The problem was not the boy or the JUDO. That boy was
actually the best on his age group, but the minute someone
has set for him a goal that he can’t achieve, he didn’t want to
play the game anymore.

4. Set a game that is fun to play with. Goals and bonuses
are an important part of managing. An employee who wakes
up in the morning to play a new game will produce more than
an employee who just “comes to work”. The manager should
create both individual and team plays, but the most important
thing is to set an achievable goals. I do not say that the goal
should be pseudo goal and that everyone should achieve it
differently for that is not a game situation; the goal should be
reasonable and real so at least some of the players could
achieve it. At the previous section I advised that manger who
set an unreal goal, to check what was the average of every
brunch in the last three month compare with the year 2008,
and to set every brunch a goal of a 5% growth for the next
month, above the average they have reached so far, even if
the goal is less than what was achieved in 2008. This goal is real for the group who has to strive to achieve it and it’ll  encourage it to make the effort and to pick the reward.

5. The court jester. The upsets of the employees followed by
dismissals of their colleagues in inevitable, and so is the
failure to meet targets that keeps the employee away from
the bonuses he used to get, will make most of the employees
fill disappointed. A week ago I had a meeting with a big
company which came into a conclusion that the best solution
for these kind of situations is to send the staff to an enjoyable
experiential bonding activities. That is a good thing to do, but
in on times when the budget is limited.

6. To be rewarded for production. Employees are the most
expensive resource in most businesses. Some of them have
been working in the business for many years. An experienced,
skilled and knowledgeable worker, who has collected many
clients Relations, had costs the business a lot of money and
replacing him could cause a great deal of damage. Instead of
figure out the way to entertain the workers who chose to stay,
it is possible create a double profit by professional training.
First of all, in this period, Unfortunately, workers has more free
time that they usually have, and second of all, training creates
the feeling within the worker that he is important to the
company and that someone wants him to stay there for a long
time. The most important value is the improvement of the
productivity of the worker. In a retail chain who run out of its
large advertising budgets, we delivered some trainings
regarding service, increasing of sales, handling clients
objections and right up the next morning the whole chain
overturn has improved in noticeable percentage.

Good luck,
Elad Hadar, CEO
SUCCESS business consulting


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