Keeping employees motivated throughout the recession is a marathon and not a sprint

The announcement that the UK ‘officially’ came out of its recession at the beginning of 2010 may have offered some encouragement of a positive outlook for the year ahead. However, nobody is really left in any doubt that the end is, in fact, nowhere near to nigh as the UK’s economy remains in its turbulent predicament. To see this dim light at the end of the tunnel only for it to be quickly extinguished again, as the patience and resilience of organisations and their employees is tested further, really brings home the truth that maintaining morale through this difficult era must be considered as a marathon and not a sprint.

Motivation must remain high on the business agenda throughout 2010 in order to break through the brick wall that marathon runners meet in the final stages of their race. Continual re-engagement is required in order to keep employees tuned into the changing company objectives so that they can head enthusiastically onto the next stage.

Many job roles will have changed over the last year and feelings of job security may also be frail. Take the time to communicate with a workforce and inform them of what the organisation collectively requires in order to get back on top. On an individual level, re-define each job proposition and set appropriate targets linked directly to the wider company goals. Offer incentives for reaching these targets – this approach to ‘sharing the fruits’ of success will be well received in an environment where pay freezes are the norm.

All things going well, the need for further redundancies is less likely this year so employers are tasked with assuring staff of their job security. ‘Recognition’ is the key. Make sure that employees feel valued and rewarded for the extra hard work, commitment and contributions that the current situation demands.

If these efforts are not properly recognised, staff will quickly lose their enthusiasm and begin to set their sights on leaving once the recession has subsided. In fact, CIPD figures suggest that over a third of workers intend on seeking new employment as soon as the recession has subsided.

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