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Stimulating employee morale

Graphics | March 1, 2009 | By:

Considering the current economy and the challenges it presents to our industry and your business, how do you stimulate morale and positivity among employees?

Regular and clear communication

Without question, the state of the economy is having an effect on our industry. The specific impact to our business, as well as any, will be felt to one degree or another, and is clearly related to the strength of client relationships, diversity of market position, etc. Given the tenuousness of the economic climate, now more than ever it is important for our staff to be organizationally aligned. As we at Flying Colors all benefit to one degree or other from our success and prosperity, it is my intent to keep my team well informed of business opportunities, current or future, so that they understand and hopefully appreciate the efforts we are making to keep a solid footing beneath us, while maintaining a strong market position as we’ve maintained for nearly three decades. Regular and clear communication is key, for without it, uncertainty will prevail.

David Kerchman, president, Flying Colors Inc., Berkeley, Calif.

Honesty is the policy

The old adage “Honesty is the best policy” is so suited for a response to this question. This can be in the form of transparency in all areas related to your workforce. Several years ago, we developed a company-wide bonus program. Everyone was aware of the metrics involved in the creation of the goal. Through quarterly “Town Hall” meetings, we kept the entire staff updated in our progress in meeting the goals. The outcome each year is no surprise. At the same time, when changes are made in overtime, instigation of new economies in production, or hour adjustments, the reasons are obvious as everyone knows the company status. Likewise, there is a real team effort to pull together in both good and hard times.

Pat Hayes, CPP, chairman, Fabric Images Inc., Elgin, Ill.

We do the best we can

I’m not sure I do stimulate the morale and positivity among employees. I try and treat everyone fairly, and the reductions we’ve had to make affect everyone. I’m a half-full-glass kind of person most of the time, so I hope it rubs off on others. I wish I could be philosophical, but for me it’s kind of basic: do the best we can under the circumstances.

Nora Norby, president, Banner Creations Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.

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