by Frantz Belot

Recent news headlines have negatively affected the morale, productivity and retention of many workers. They have become increasingly stressed and uncertain about the current economic environment. Gas prices have significantly increased, leading to inflation. Weekly job losses have significantly increased. Employees are already feeling overtaxed due to workforce shortages resulting from the great resignation. And, companies have been going so fast to keep up with supply chain issues that many workers are feeling underappreciated at work.

Add to these issues several additional economic factors, including the conflict in Ukraine and rising interest rates, and we see that the labor productivity in the United States fell by 7.5% in the first quarter of 2022. This is the largest decrease in productivity since 1947 according to the US Department of Labor.

Organizations know they need to combat these trends. Below are four simple ways to increase morale, productivity and retention during times of economic uncertainty:

1. Communicate More From The Top

Transparent and regular communication from company leaders is one of the easiest – and most important ways to improve retention and productivity. Yet, many companies don’t. Communication from leaders with candor builds trust, especially when leaders follow through with what they say.

Engaging with employees consistently is crucial to helping them feel that the company is interested in them and their success, and is willing to engage in a two-way dialogue with them.

Pro Tip: Communication from company leadership on a regular basis through video allows them to get to know you better, retain what was said, and create stronger loyalty.

2. Invest In Tools To Increase Effectiveness.

Finding the tools to help employees do their job more effectively has an added benefit besides increasing productivity. Investing in employee tools helps employees feel valued and that you are helping them to become successful. Investing in their success invests in the company’s success.

Sometimes the tools employees need are not directly related to what they do at work. For example, companies like Boudin Bakery are also investing in mental health support for employees and provide tools and resources to help employees feel more like family than employees.

Pro Tip: Tools that invest in the employee themselves will increase morale and loyalty, reducing attrition.

3. Recognize and reward employees

Recognizing employees in front of their peers is a powerful way to increase morale and productivity. When employees are recognized they feel the organization values them. They typically become a resource to other employees and will continue to emphasize the rewarded behavior.

Finding ways to reward employees with spot bonuses, gifts, and tools – especially when they are earned or merit based will motivate employees to do and to become more. Often such rewards are inexpensive – especially compared with the cost of hiring new employees.

Pro Tip: Recognizing employees in communication from top leadership and rewarding them with tools can help a company combine the first three steps.

4. Empower Through Training

Empowering employees through increased training, education or professional development will help them to be more effective at their job – and more importantly helps them feel they are more effective at their job. This increases overall productivity and morale.

During an economic downturn, training employees on topics such as budgeting, investing, reducing credit card debt and on company benefits will help them to better weather storms – especially in the event of layoffs.

Pro Tip: Ongoing training will help organizations be more competitive, employees more engaged, and create a healthier bottom line.

Following these four steps what help employees to feel valued, appreciated and engaged thereby increasing employee morale productivity and retention while building a loyal workforce and learning culture.

Interested in learning more about how Tyfoom can help you follow these four steps? Click here to schedule time with a Tyfoom consultant.