Yes, the title of this post is correct. It is very easy
to manage people during a bad economy.
The reason it is so easy is that you can just say, “No,”
to employee requests for salary increases, tools to do
their work, training, etc. And the best part is that you
never have to justify your answer other than to say,
“We’re concerned about the economy.”
When things are going well, employees have all those pesky
questions that start with “Why…” But, in tough times,
management gets a trump card that it often overplays.
HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: If you consider your employees
“partners” in your business, then, you will want to give
them the reasons for decisions, regardless of the state of
In the July-August 2008 issue of Harvard Business Review,
there is an article titled, “Employee Motivation, A
Powerful New Model.” This new model talks about 4
employee drivers that when satisfied, create new levels of
One of the drivers is comprehend – the need of employees
to understand the rationale for decisions, which helps
them make sense of the world around them. Help employees
to comprehend decisions of management, even in tough
times, and watch employee commitment and engagement grow.