Don’t Make Decisions From Fear – Play the Long Game
We all know people who have been furloughed, taken pay cuts, or who were laid off over the past few weeks. It happened fast. Business has slowed or ceased in many industries, businesses are shut, people aren’t working. There are loans and tax refunds in place to motivate employers not to reduce employees’ hours or to reduce headcount.
Business leaders are doing the best they can to make decisions that will keep businesses afloat. It is a difficult time to run a business and manage people.
I too am confronted by these decisions in my own business. I had a new person who was supposed to start on March 16th. I have part-timers who aren’t coming in right now. I have an open job I’m not filling.
I want to suggest you play the long game letting your personal and professional goals drive your decision making, and I know this is very, very difficult. It’s difficult for me too.
Maybe you need to lay people off or reduce hours or compensation. Communicate with those employees from a place of TLC – communicate early and often. Give as much information as you can. Be as generous as you can.
Generosity comes in all forms. It is not necessarily financial.
Tell employees the benefits that are available to them. Be realistic about when employees may receive checks. But also share how you feel about these employees and how difficult it is to reduce compensation and jobs. People want to work for people who are authentic and care about them. Don’t be afraid to show you care. Call and check-in with employees who aren’t working. Ask how they’re doing. Demonstrate concern.
There is a long game in how we make business decisions but also in how we treat people. Treat people like they’re family and you’re working to have a long-term relationship.
Lastly, try not to make decisions from fear. This is a tricky one and one I can’t say I’m doing well. I’ve made a few too many recent decisions out of fear. But fear is not a powerful place to stand. Fear is paralyzing and limiting.
When making personal and professional decisions, consider your long-term goals. Ask, “What do I want my business to look like in one year, three years, five years? What do I need to do today to achieve those goals, within today’s scary reality.” Act from your goals, not your momentary fear. You may need to remind yourself of this from moment to moment. I know I do.
Think future. Be realistic. Act with care and humanity. Play your long game personally and professionally.