A Slow Office Needs to Stay Busy
A slow office still needs to stay busy. You might think if you’re running your business right your employees and your business should be consistently busy. But sometimes even when the business is flowing there will be stretches when things slow down. Here are some steps you can take to keep things running smoothly over the rough patches.
- If things are slow for just a few employees, do some assessment to see if there are bottlenecks somewhere in the company that can be adjusted so work process flows more smoothly from area to area. Cross training employees to help out in other departments is always helpful.
- Always be careful what you say to your employees. As the boss you set the tone in the workplace. If your comments and body language come across as negative or discouraging it can affect the morale of your employees. Always put forth a positive and upbeat attitude with your employees.
- Be open as possible when answering or discussing the current company situation. Sometimes, however, less information is better. If you have to let employees know be truthful about what is going on in a brief discussion and limit it to the impact on that employee. Depending on the nature of the slowdown, meeting with employees in a group or individually might be needed to alleviate fears and clarify how the slowdown will affect different employees. Continue to let your employees know that you appreciate their efforts.
- Let employees know that they need to focus on their duties. Make it clear that any questions or concerns should be brought to the attention of their direct supervisor. Make sure each supervisor is in agreement on keeping lines of communication open and addressing any employee concerns as soon as possible. Rumors can be put to rest quickly when lines of communication are kept open.
- You should have a list of tasks that you want to complete when things slow down. Include the cost by each task so you can quickly decide what you can afford to do at the moment. Some ideas include:
- Reorganize the office.
- Send employees to computer training classes.
- Have a team building event.
- Do an employee skills and interest assessment.
- Hold a safety training class.
- Add an extra employee responsibility that will help generate revenue. Make sure it is something that fits in the goals of the company and is not a task that will distract an employee from his or her other job duties. Make it clear to the employee how the extra task can be fit into their daily schedule and that once the slowdown is over job duties will be reassessed.
Maintaining employee morale and keeping a positive outlook will go a long way in making it through any slow patches.
Next up – Handling the Difficult Employee.