The following articles come from my recent 3-series LinkedIn LIVE: Recession-proof your business | How to leverage your team and create maximum impact without the need to hire new ones.
I consider the message way too important to let it there alone, so, I’ll spread the word around my platforms, including the blog. Please take notes and apply what I’ll share to your business. During the current times, these things can have a crucial impact.
You can check out the LIVE video as well below, with the caveat that the first LIVE video quality is really bad due to some unexpected browser issues.
Table of Contents
Recession-proof your business | How to leverage your team and create maximum impact without the need to hire new ones.
I must warn you, the information I’ll share might be a painful wakeup call where you could feel uncomfortable while you’ll get to think a lot deeper about your business, but I can promise you that if you apply what I will share with you, including the two homework’s I prepared for you today and tomorrow you can start seeing the difference. And even more importantly, feel it, and that’s the key.
Let’s dive in.
There are tons of mistakes companies make when it comes to their employees. They have no idea who they truly are, so they don’t leverage their potential. The focus on roles, responsibilities, and growth sometimes overshadowed the human factor.
Well, it’s good to have the processes and operations in place, but just don’t write them in stones like being the Holy Grail.
Focusing on people trumps everything
What I proved over and over again in the businesses I worked with, including my own, is that focusing on people, and seeing them for who they are, overcomes the best financial benefits, salaries, you name it.
When it comes to recession-proof your business knowing your people at a personal level is the key to more.
Let me paint you a picture of the times.
We are living in a fresh recession period and a very busy world. It was not enough that we are still disturbed by COVID, but now the consequences are on their way too. You can only hide the dirt under the matt by printing money and aiding people and companies until some point. Nothing lasts forever.
And as a cherry on the pie, today we are facing an inconceivable war.
The result of the current situation
There is a lot of fear out there.
If you are by chance a growing company, without a seemingly apparent problem, think again. Fear is here, it’s real, and it doesn’t exclude your employees.
And employees just found themselves removed after an email with their future compromised. And those are the ones directly affected.
But those indirectly affected are their friends, acquittances who know them, their family, and their situation. Those looking from the sideline.
How many of your employees know such employees who got affected?
And they start thinking. “OK. If that company that was in the news just yesterday, praised and popular, now it’s in trouble, what makes me think this company I’m in it’s safe?”
As a side note, if I would run now one of those companies that laid out hundreds of people, the first thing I would do is a live event with the remaining ones. Hiring a speaker who investigates their situation and gives such an uplifting, transformational speech that connects to their hearts and regains their hope and trust for the future.
Fear alone decreases productivity by 56%. You could have an extra fictitious employee removing fear from any particular person.
Fear can make employees work harder but worse. Do you want that? They cannot focus, their memory is a mess, fear makes them juggle between tasks like a trapped animal, and there absolutely no creativity or problem-solving ability. Fear causes people to talk less and hide things. It’s a trauma-based work environment, even if you didn’t cause it.
Isn’t this enough? No? Well, if the work is not compromised enough, chronic fear will deteriorate health and can cause a whole list of illnesses, including chronic pain in different parts of the body, phobic anxiety, OBS episodes, and paranoia. I could list the effects of fear over the length of this entire article.
Recession-proof your business like a true leader
Now in this environment, you need to be an active player, a true leader in removing fear.
Hope is underestimated, but it’s the precursor of more. Without hope, you are done. Fear affects hope, and hope is a powerful word. Without hope, you cannot reach trust and beyond.
The experiment on hope
There was an experiment with rats in the 50s. They put them in water and watch them drown.
Then they took another group of rats and put them in water. And when they almost drowned, they took the rats out. Then they took another group of rats and put them in the water at the same time as the rats that almost drowned. The rats that were in there for the first time, drowned quickly.
But the ones that were in there for the second time lived 240 times longer (from 15 minutes to 60 hours) because of the hope that they might be saved.
Just think about this for a while.
Now more than ever, your people need hope, need connection, need humanity, and need to feel they are safe and that you are a whole unit.
But that’s only one part of the equation. I’ll tell you more about another crucial element in the next article.
Today is about fear.
Do you know the fear level in your company?
Never, never assume that your people are OK, they know things, you talked with them once, they are big guys, this is serious business, tech business, they should be fine.
Now is the time to lower that level of fear. And the best transitional element to more is hope.
When you have under ten employees, things are more manageable, and you can create a cozy climate easier and supervise them, keeping them closer easier. If you don’t do that, you’ll lose control pretty fast once you grow.
Over ten employees, new hidden issues start to surface.
Let’s assume that at least 10% of your employees are dealing with the fear accumulated during the last period. That 10% are not doing their best, and you leave a lot of their true potential on the table. But what if that 10% is 20% or 50%? Or more? What if? Do you know?
5-minute assignment to recession-proof your business and (re)connect with your employees
Why 5 minutes? I created a simulation for different-sized companies and went up to 100 employees. Now, if you have less or more, you adjust accordingly. But a founder or a CEO of a company with even 100 employees should take some time to think about them individually.
And even if you share 5 minutes of your time with an employee, that would count for a workday of 8.3 hours.
Hypothetically, do your people worth one day a month to you to approach them from a personal stand of view? And 5 minutes can do magic. If your company is smaller you can do better than that.
But hey, see the magic in action.
You will choose an employee you don’t know as well or didn’t talk to for a long time. And ask these questions. Write this down.
Note that before anything else, you always need to create the context to eliminate confusion and set the stage.
“Hey John, do you have 5 minutes? I really wanted to talk with you and see how are you doing. Could you tell me if you are in any way affected by what’s happening in the markets and the fear that is out there? Do you have such thoughts? Are you bothered by what’s happening? Is there anything heavy on your chest you might want to share with me as honestly as possible? I really want to listen, and understand if anything is bothering you.”
And then just listen, truly listen. Not only that you’ll get meaningful insights from that person, but you’ll give him or her some hope and a sense of worth.
That day the employee will be like: “Oh wow, I cannot believe he wanted to talk with me. This was so cool. I feel so good, understood. What an awesome boss, leader, and company. I am so happy to work here.”
…and might not even sleep that night of excitement.
You’ll surely have your lessons doing this exercise, and I hope you’ll make it a habit.
Please feel free to share your findings with me. I would love to hear them.
Next time will dig deeper into human nature, and I’ll give you a second danger to conquer besides Fear.
For now, I’ll leave you with a quote to remember:
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.“Nelson Mandela
Second part here: Recession Proof Your Business by Leveraging the Power of Your People 2/3
Cristina Imre – The Founder Coach That Gets You & Takes Your Success to Heart!
*On a mission to be the Secret Weapon behind those business successes and founders that lead our world into the future.