Managing Employee Relations When the Going Gets Tough

We’ve been seeing this a lot lately. Business owners are worried about their bottom line, for some reason several businesses did not have the best year this holiday season and they’re scrambling to figure out what to do. The stakes are high and you need to make some changes to keep up. So many of these businesses are so special, unique, and needed in this area, we don’t want you to go! But times like these require business owners to remain calm and focused.

A lot of managers and owners have this misconception that productivity is best increased through pressure. That employees are inherently lazy and need to be whipped into shape. That when the going gets tough, everyone should be running and scrambling and as stressed as you are.

But this is not always true. It’s one thing to be busy, but the solution is usually not to run around and try to do the same things faster, more efficient, and at superhuman speeds. Panicking at rough moments will more likely hurt your business than save it. Instead, it is your job to find a way to organize your process so that your business can perform better and you retain your employees.

A much better option is to treat your workers as a team. Even in the busiest moments, a timeout can be necessary. You need to take a moment to analyze the situation and think of clear solutions that don’t involve putting more pressure on your workers than they can handle. Very often, your workers will have the solution to your problem if you just ask. They want you to succeed and this will be a wonderful opportunity to make them feel like they belong in your business.

You should remember the following when it comes to your employees:

  1. Your workers don’t want you to fail if they do there’s something deeply wrong.
  2. Inspiring workers is more effective than making yelling at them.
  3. It is your responsibility to give them the information and tools to succeed. Always be on the lookout for a communication error on your end.
  4. Constantly replacing workers can be disastrous for your business. Working with your employees to get through something together is much better (and cheaper!) than replacing them. Sometimes someone needs to be fired or they need to quit, but it shouldn’t be a revolving door.

Instead we recommend you work together with your team, look at what the problem is, take some time to find solutions, and most importantly – stay calm and trust that you will come out ok.