Overcome Recession Depression

Mary Cantando

Tough economic times require you to be even more creative to ensure the success of your business. And they can also take a toll on your psyche, as well as that of your employees.

So how do you deal with "Recession Depression"?

Here are five ideas:

  1. When you arrive home at the end of the day, greet whoever it is you greet (significant other, children, maybe just your dog!) by telling that person about the single best thing that happened to you during the day. Now this might be as simple as the fact that your computer system seems to run without a glitch these days, or could be as significant as landing a new client. Sharing this good news serves a two-fold purpose. For one thing, you will have to think about good things on the way home to come up with the item you'll report on - and just sharing that info with someone else will lighten your mood and set the tone for the entire evening. No matter what kind of a day you had, you can find ONE good thing about it, can't you?
  2. Over the years, many good managers have espoused the practice of writing letters to a key employee's partner/spouse to discuss the value that employee brings to your company. But Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, has taken that practice one step further. She writes these letters to the parents of her key management and reports that is has provded more of a return than she ever expected. As a mother, myself, I can only imagine how wonderful I would feel if the manager of one of my adult children sent such a letter to me. I would immediately contact my child to discuss it and share my extreme pleasure with them. What a marvelous way to recognize employees!
  3.  Why not present a monthly "Exceed Award" to the one individual who most strongly exceeded expectations for the previous month. This would not have to be a big deal; it could be a $25 gift certificate or perhaps a massage. No matter what challenges your employees are up against, an award like this would give them something to strive for. They can choose to exceed expectation and be recognized for it.

  4. News got you down? Here's a different slant on it: Every time you are exposed to bad news, think about how you could use that specific piece of news as an opportunity to improve your business or your life. Is a local company laying off 200 employees? Maybe that would be a chance for you to obtain the office furtniture you need at the lowest price around. Is the city government announcing 1/2 day furloughs every week? Perhaps you could approach employees to work with you on a pro bono project that is near and dear to your heart. The key is to always look for a kernel of good in even the most disastrous news.

  5. This final idea comes from the book by Vern Harnish entitled, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm. Harnish suggests conducting a 10-minute "huddle' with your staff at the beginning of each work day. During this huddle, each person discusses his/her successes of yesterday, priorities for today and any areas where they are stuck. A session like this can provide real insight into problems that may be cropping up with certain individuals; for example, if someone has the same priority day in and day out, you might question it. The real value of the huddle is that it requires everyone to focus on the positive and start the day knowing how to make the current day successfuly.

What other ideas do you have to get over the rough spots?

Mary Cantando, speaker and consultant, and author of The Woman’s Advantage
Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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