For some time now in Houston and the surrounding area, it’s been a difficult economic situation. With the downturn in the oil and gas market, businesses are being affected by the drop in revenue.
As a leader in your company, keeping your staff motivated and engaged becomes a new challenge. Employees could be worried about being laid off, whether your company has already cut employees or if they see their friends and colleagues losing jobs at other organizations. If budgets are getting cut, that makes everyone’s job more difficult as departments need to become more efficient.
So what can you do as a manager to keep your information technology staff engaged and motivated when they could be worried about the surrounding economy?
A down market lacks creativity because staff members could be stretched thin and just trying to complete the necessary day-to-day tasks. However, your company will suffer in the long term if you don’t allow your IT workers the opportunities to be creative and attempt to find new solutions or projects. This may manifest as a re-branding of your company’s image or simply a different approach to problem-solving that makes your staff’s life easier and their work more enjoyable.
If there’s one way you can get a competitive edge during a down market, it’s with new technology. They often don’t have the access or the budget to take advantage of these advanced opportunities, so do what you can to give your staff the chance to test out cutting edge tech with product or software demos, new development strategies and instructive workshops and seminars. The potential for developing new skills will keep them invested while the opportunity to use these skills in the workplace sparks their enthusiasm and passion for technology. If your company can’t afford to send information technology workers to a conference, look into purchasing a virtual ticket or recordings after the conference, which can come at a reduced cost but still be effective.
Your staff is comprised of talented, innovative professionals, each with unique perspectives and ideas. The only way to make the most of your staff is to take advantage of their ideas by establishing an open-door policy. Encourage them to come to you with any suggestions that may improve operations, sales or your product line. You can also hold regular brainstorming sessions and think tanks to inspire new solutions to old problems and allow your staff to feel engaged and involved.
It can be hard to keep your staff motivated during a down market. As a manager, dedicating some time on your end to really maintain staff engagement will lead to great results for your company and a happier staff.
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