In writing consistently about our flagging economy, the problems we’re facing and the expected duration of this situation, I’ve realized that the tone and scope of my articles have been increasingly depressing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not depressed, but I recognize that the tone has nonetheless been dour.
That’s why my upcoming series of articles will provide a variety of ways for you to make a positive difference during these times of hardship. It’s important that we don’t all adopt the Turtle Mentality and keep our heads in our shells. We need to be a part of our community and give back however we can, even and especially if that giving back isn’t or can’t be monetary.
My first piece of advice is about layoffs.
As a CEO, owner, or manager, you may understand all too intimately that these times have unfortunately required layoffs and company closures.
As a turnaround professional, I understand better than most that cash is tight, but if you find yourself in a position like this or advising someone who is, be especially sensitive to the personal needs of those severed. Be sensitive when you have those difficult termination meetings; be sincere, and it will show.
Consider offering options like out placement services, extended health insurance and networking meetings. Let people know – if it’s true – that when positive cash flow and profits return, their jobs will be filled again by them, if possible.
This kind of approach deepens your understanding of others’ plight and demonstrates that you have compassion for your fellow human beings.
In some cases it might be appropriate to create lesser positions within your company part time. Though this may be insulting to some and result in a lessening of benefits and pay, it will allow them to remain employed in some capacity and ensure that when the time comes, they will be easily able to restart their previous positions (this can be very challenging and quite uncomfortable for all involved as a subject but weigh the benefits and ask those to whom you might offer this to do the same).
In short, do whatever you can to soften the blow to those less fortunate when the economy requires that you downsize in ways you would prefer not to.
Please stay tuned for more posts on giving back during a touch economy. I think that this series will allow us all to generate and act on some ideas that will be to the benefit of our community and country.
Please share your ideas for giving back below.