Like many other businesses, you’ve struggled with the ups and downs of the economy, but the circumstances of the last few years have been overwhelming. You’ve been forced to file for bankruptcy and reorganize – and that meant some layoffs.
How do you keep your core staff from leaving and encourage them to stay motivated as you work through this transition time? Without them, your business may very well close its doors forever, so you want to do everything in your power to provide the reassurance and support that they need. Here’s where to start:
Be open and honest about what’s going on
The number one thing that could drive your core staff away is the feeling that they don’t know what’s going on. The rumor mill can get started very easily – and the only way to stop that from happening is to communicate with your staff often and clearly about what’s happening. That means:
- Explain exactly why your business is going through bankruptcy and what the goals are for the future so that they know you intend to remain in business.
- Explain why the reduction in force was needed, and why those who remain are essential to your plans.
- Let them ask questions and be truthful – and encourage them to come to you with any and all concerns.
Say the quiet part out loud
One of the easiest ways to start rebuilding the trust between your company and your core team is to acknowledge that the layoffs have caused a loss of trust. That tells your core employees that you really are conscious of their feelings and fears – and helps them feel more comfortable asking questions about the future.
Provide a clear framework for the future
You can’t dismiss half the staff and ask your remaining workers to pick up twice the work at the same pay. Make sure that you set reasonable expectations for those who remain and that you’re clear about their job duties.
It’s always painful when a business is going through restructuring, but the right approach to the process can allow you to come out of the process stronger than ever.