Business leaders told to open up during tough times

Workers call for bigger pay packets to help them through the economic downturn, according to research by workplace communications consultancy CHA.

They also reveal that better communication and positive leadership will help engage employees during difficult times.

CHA asked a thousand workers what single action their employer could take immediately to help improve morale during the downturn.

Financial incentives are the top instant motivator, with a raft of positive behaviours from managers and leaders making up most of the rest of the ranking.

Just one respondent countered the question by reporting they were happy.

Colette Hill, chief executive of CHA, says:

“Every business leader has a crucial role to play during difficult times – but it doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. The main thing is to communicate constantly. Our results also show that building a positive culture of appreciation and celebration will keep staff motivated, particularly if financial rewards are not available.

“Companies that have invested in doing this in good times may be better placed to weather the storm, but for any organisation simple, honest steps will help get staff behind your business goals. Small things can make a big difference.”

The full results are ranked as follows:

1.     Pay rise – including bonus or incentives

2.     Staff party or night out, and food provided in the office

3.     Praise, encouragement, and recognition

4.     Reassurance about job security

5.     Flexible working, reducing pay by reducing hours

6.     A senior management that is involved, positive and honest

7.     Communication

8.     Dismissing other staff

9.     More staff and training

Some of the responses from staff are listed below, demonstrating that often the things that can have the biggest impact on engagement are the simplest:

“Be honest and fair to all members of staff.”
“Buy a coffee machine, or some kind of new comfort for the staff room.”
“Buy cakes for us.”
“Communicate with their employees and keep them informed.”
“Thanking me for my work.”
“Keep smiling.”
“Buy a cheap lunch or snack for everyone one day.”
“Establish better communication lines.”
“A hot chocolate.”
“Let everyone know how much their work is appreciated.”
“Chocolate biscuits with a smile.”
“Say well done to us for our hard work and buy us chocolates.”

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