Reassurance in tough times – why it’s so important
Imagine turning up to work each day with fingers crossed that your organisation is still operating and that you still have a job. This situation faces around four in ten employees in workplaces in Australia and New Zealand.
According to the latest results from the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey, 37% of employees have had little or no reassurance about the future of the organisation they work for – in effect they live in hope that the organisation will continue to operate into the foreseeable future.
And a similarly disturbing proportion (36%) have had little or no reassurance about their own personal future with their organisation – they go about their work believing it to be what is expected of them but without clear confirmation about their future.
Over recent years, there has been limited progress made in leaders and senior managers communicating with their employees about the future of the organisation and the employees’ future in the organisation. This has been eroded through uncertainty and apprehension – in the wider economy and in organisations generally.
Q. To what extent have your business leaders and senior managers communicated with you about the immediate future of the organisation?
Q. To what extent has your employer reassured you about your future with your organisation?
Clearly there is a great deal of room for improvement in providing employees with information which will in turn provide greater confidence and contribute to organisational growth and stability. Employers need to recognise the hard work of employees which, in many cases, is much greater than normal simply to ensure the employee stays off the radar and retains their job against a backdrop of economic difficulty, redundancies and closures.
What should leaders and managers do to create certainty in such uncertain times?
- Provide as much reassurance as possible about the organisation’s future and the individual’s future. If delivering reassurance is difficult due to extreme uncertainty, at least look to provide something for employees to look forward to in terms of information and communication as the picture becomes clearer. Employees will value the honesty that comes with knowing as much as they can about their future – they are after all people first, employees second.
- Provide regular updates and information and offer alternatives that enable the workforce to decide their future. Consider new models of work, new approaches to familiar issues and invite thoughts and inputs from all to build a future that helps everyone survive and thrive.
- Most importantly, provide the support and encouragement employees are seeking from management to enable them to commit to the organisation and engage with their work in order to help the organisation address tough times.