Fewer people and lower morale, what’s a girl to do?
So many people are experiencing the emotional void and burden of taking on greater responsibilities in our current economy. As a result of cost-cutting, downsizings, hiring freezes or early retirements (in some cases delayed retirement), many companies may find themselves with holes in the workforce and a morale that is difficult to work around.
For example, in some cases, employees who were already assigned to a team may have been on a layoff list. In other cases, consultants or contract help who were contributing their talents to organizational efforts may have been slashed from the budget. The bottom line remains the same: fewer employees wearing more hats whether they fit or not.
If you find your self in this position and you most likely will to varying degrees either as a team member, team leader or budding business owner, there are solutions. Ordinarily, the music would swell, and the solution band would play – instead the practicality of the situation calls for behaviors and actions that you can help suggest, direct and even control your future.
When this scenario occurs, companies may want to broaden the search for internal talent in order to redirect the right people to the right projects. This is the perfect chance for you to volunteer for a new project, team, or completely new area of the business. This not only makes you a “team player” but it creates a value equation that puts you in the plus column. It also gives you a chance to shine and learn new skills.
Who knows social media and the capabilities of the virtual world better than you? This is one of those pivotal moments in history where you can set the course for yourself and quite frankly, how your business can be run. Establishing virtual teams, taking the best and the brightest from many locations can help in this situation, expanding the population of potential team members beyond those sharing physical workspace. In fact, more than two-thirds of respondents to a recent Institute for Corporate Productivity survey (2008) on teams said they see their reliance on virtual teams growing in importance over the next three years. I think this will move faster in its importance and you can be at the forefront of your company by setting the stage
For example, one way to sidestep productivity losses after downsizing is to keep progress moving on a project by using team members in different time zones. A well-orchestrated process can ensure that "handoffs" are streamlined and that "the brief overlaps in the working hours of the team members" are fully leveraged, according to Karen Cvitkovich (2008), a managing director with Aperian Global. Such "follow the sun" scheduling can allow companies to take advantage of widely dispersed talent while also providing team members with better work/life balance.
Another way to help employers corral talent located at different sites into one team is via Web conferencing live or accessible information streamed and available at any given time. You're trying to create a sense of community ... in a physically distributed environment. With technology facilitating such meetings, and assisting the leveraging of communication amongst team members, employees who survive a layoff may appreciate this sense of a larger network of colleagues rather than a shrinking one.
I get a zen feeling just talking about it. Wanna have a web conference? It’s good for me. You?
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