Why the recession will make the team you have today stronger – if you have the right tools

Mary Bleech headshot

Mary Bleech

June 23 2022
Increasing interest rates. Grocery item shortages. Outrageous gas prices that make you want to walk to work. Indications of a recession in the U.S. are causing growing concern – infiltrating conversations throughout the daily news, homes, and workspaces across the country. Many of us are dipping into savings a little more than we’d like, and tension is rising within families to make ends meet. 

As many employees fear for the security of their jobs during this time, there may exist a temptation to become a more competitive player within the office, seeing coworkers as opponents. Perhaps this is a natural reaction when we want to protect ourselves and those we love. Yet, what if the bonds between a team could actually be strengthened during this economic low? Read on to learn how to equip yourself with the tools for a more unified team during the recession.
wallet with money
Learn and lean into your employee’s strengths 

When we fear that our basic needs won’t be met, the tendency to go into survival mode might leave us feeling less accomplished at our jobs when trying to guarantee that we’re doing enough to make a living. This leads to a loss of fulfillment in the work that we do. Yet, a time like this is great for reflection on what drives and motivates us in our lives. To avoid a lack of fulfillment among your employees, tune into and rely on each of their strengths. Statistics suggest that those who can use their strengths daily are over six times more likely to be engaged at work and three times as likely to report a higher quality of life than the average person. To gauge these strengths,  observe and identify the tasks that your employees accomplish particularly well – and tell them! Feeling valued at work can lead to fifty percent greater efficiency in employees – showing them their worth… is worth it! 
people looking at computer
Support your team (with more than just a paycheck) 

Your team relies on you for their income, of course, but it’s equally as important to strive to meet all other basic individual needs. The fear of a recession can undoubtedly affect the mental health of a person, so establishing company resources to alleviate these impacts can go a long way. Ask yourself: does your company allow for easy access to counseling services? Is there any space in the company schedule for the occasional mental health day? Or, could you simply treat your staff to a yoga and meditation session? 

In fact, one of the best ways you can support your team is by ensuring that they support one another. A community engagement tool like ChattyKathi allows for a user-friendly outlet where your team can get to know one another better through weekly chats that won’t absorb time from the work day. Whether fun or vulnerable conversations occur, a space for learning more about one another helps to create a supportive and family-like environment that can set your company up for success throughout and beyond a recession.
Person meditating
Ensure that transparency is a two-way street

While we know you’ll do all you can to bring out the best in your team, it’s important to create a space where every voice can be heard. Make clear to your team that you’re open and eager to hear their thoughts, and further demonstrate that their feedback is valued by incorporating solutions to problems as they arise. Opening the door for opinions and suggestions lets your team know that you respect them, and they’ll respect you in response.

And just as you expect them to be transparent with you, offer them the same courtesy. Make a plan to keep all staff up to date on any major company changes, both positive and negative. Your honesty will boost the morale of the environment and likely lead to greater motivation and intention at work.

While any economic downturn creates inevitable concern for the future, the present circumstances also allow you a wonderful opportunity to first reflect and then take the action necessary to create and maintain a comfortable, welcoming, and supportive environment. After all, the work that we do is meant to be more than just a paycheck – it’s meant to give us purpose and satisfaction in our role of making a difference. When disasters strike, we are often reminded of the necessities and desires of our lives. So, take this season of unknowns and use it to bring your team together. 
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