We put them together in a room, told them NO topic was off-limits, even pet projects their CEO might be working on, and told them to build a report on what can be done better.
The last part of Operation Unturned Stone is critical: C-level management must make the commitment to listen and take action. Also critical is that each member of the presenting group can feel 100 percent comfortable that there will be no consequences for what they recommend. Additionally, upper management at all companies need to address the paranoia level. Peoples' nerves are frayed as they wait for more bad news or the ax to fall.
The time is now for reassurance, comfort and team building. This can be accomplished relatively quickly. Along with reassurance, get your employees together. Suggest outside-of-the-office events. Create events as well. No, I'm not talking about corporate retreats. How about an ice skating night? A company picnic for no reason? Give out free movie passes; something along those lines.
In short, it's your responsibility to do what it takes from any level to ensure that your staff sticks together in these troubling times. Now is not the time for every man/woman for him/herself!
We will get through this difficult time and thrive again.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can post a comment here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Jim on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect. Read Jim's personal blog at http://gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com/.