Be a Great Boss In a Tough Economy

Whatever you listen to

Can’t offer more money?

Can’t guarantee job security?

Can’t give promotions now?

What can a boss do during a tough economy to show how she values people?

1.  Ask their opinions. Close mouth and listen. Take notes. You don’t have to use all the ideas. Just save them. This demonstrates to that person that you take his ideas seriously. And who knows? There may be a gem in there somewhere – later if not sooner.

2.  Keep your own complaints about the current situation to yourself. Vent to a trusted friend outside your organization or to a spouse or companion when you need to let off steam – not to your staff.

3.  Listen to your staff’s frustrations but minimize the time you both spend talking about conditions neither of you can control.  Once the problem has been stated, re-direct the conversation to the solution stage with a question like "What do you suggest?" or make a statement that gets the conversation onto today’s priorities. Whatever you listen to, you’ll get more of!

4.  Give frequent informal recognition for work that you value. "Good solution," "You saved our bacon!" and "Great preparation for that meeting" are quick and cheap ways to motivate.

Life at work won’t always be this tough (it might get tougher!), so let’s make it as positive as humanly possible.