Managers are struggling to deal with de-motivated, stressed and underperforming team members, according to research by business training company Reed Learning.
Comparison of over 400 managers in 2009 vs 2008 showed a rise of over 50% in managers seeking help with challenging people issues.
Managers cited dealing with difficult people, techniques to motivate their team and ways to reduce stress in others as key learning goals in 2009. In comparison, managers in 2008 were looking for more general skills in delegation, communication, and a basic grounding in management techniques.
Reed Learning has provided training courses to over 20,000 new managers in the past 10 years and offers some suggestions on keeping people buoyant when the economy sinks:
1. Spa days and Hawaiian junkets may be out for the time being, so think about affordable perks. See what goods or services you can barter with local vendors – even just eating lunch together can boost morale.
2. No news isn’t good news. Keep people u p d a t e d on the progress of the business as well as their personal performance. Make sure people understand how their contribution makes a difference.
3. Set realistic goals – and invite people to contribute to objective target setting. Give people personal opportunities to learn and take on new responsibilities.
4. Find the silver lining. For many companies the downturn is an opportunity to pull away f r o m the competition, take market share and try something innovative.
5. Most people want to make a contribution to society. Think about setting up links with local schools or with community organisations..
6. Make people feel they are part of something important by going up for an award or generating press coverage for your company.
7. ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’. Don’t worry too much. Enthusiasm is contagious. Motivate yourself and you will motivate others.