Ok, So You Don’t Have to Be a Complete SOB


October 2001

Ok, So You Don’t Have to Be a Complete SOB


Perhaps you can’t donate your entire salary to save three people on the layoff list like Cisco CEO John Chambers did, but there are other ways to keep your staff alive during the downturn. According to Bonnie Rochman’s article, “OK, So You Don’t Have to Be a Complete SOB,” in the July 2001 issue of eCompany Now, you can take action in dealing with your staff during a time when you’re on edge and they fear losing their jobs. Keep morale up by being conscious of these four ideas.

Tell it to them straight.
Don’t beat around the bush and try to make things seem better than they actually are. Employees will resent you if they think that you’re hiding something. Disclose where the company is financially and what the future looks like. Let your staff be a creative force in dealing with issues and improvements.

Clearly define their career paths.
Talent is the number one thing that keeps organizations alive. But when layoffs occur, it’s the remaining staff members who become overworked and undervalued. Be sincere in wanting to work together to develop a plan of success for them. Ask them what they want and be devoted to listening and implementing their goals.

Pay them what they’re worth.
Money can be a huge source of resentment especially in our current economic climate where stock options are not the bonus they once were. If employees don’t feel that they’re being paid what they’re worth, morale goes down and usually not with just one employee. It’s a ripple effect.

Keep them focused on the here and now.
Try breaking projects into smaller segments (3 to 6 months) so that progress is easily seen. Meet regularly to mark accomplishments, set goals, and understand expectations. Make sure everyone is on the same page.