For the past several months, we have awakened to a steady stream of depressing bad news regarding the economy. Retirement plans have turned from 401(k)s to 201(k)s, people are getting laid off, companies are desperate for bailouts and the list goes on. There is no doubt we are in extremely difficult economic times. If your employees are like others I have recently encountered in other organizations, they are in wonderment about whether they will have a job tomorrow and what the financial implications could be to their families. Have you reassured your employees lately?

Early last week I witnessed one of my clients give a mini State of the Union address to his organization which consists of approximately two hundred employees. Many of them were concerned about their jobs, were uncertain about the backlog of work in light of the many construction projects that have been temporarily (if not permanently) put on hold. The leader of this organization affirmed his team for a job well done in the prior fiscal year and also challenged them to work smart in the year ahead as margins continue to shrink in today’s competitive marketplace where, in some instances, companies are striving to keep afloat. He gave them confidence that the company is well capitalized and that they are well positioned to withstand this current economic downturn.

Late last week, I facilitated a management meeting for the same company and unprovoked I received feedback that employees were re-energized and more productive in the days following the mini State of the Union address. Many of the employees were reassured their livelihoods were safe and they could refocus on the job at hand. Clearly there was a morale boost in this organization. Does the same opportunity exist in your organization?

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