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Tips for boosting employee morale and motivation in a bad economy

We are looking for ways to improve the employee morale this year following freezes on raises and bonuses and the looming threat of layoffs. How should we adjust our employee strategy in order to boost morale and motivation during these tough times?

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This is an excellent question. Part of what we do for employees echoes what we do for customers. We can't possibly expect customers to trust our company if our own employees do not. So, just as we see strong transparency paying off for relationships with customers, the same goes for employees. Help them understand the role each of them plays in creating value for the company through short-term and long-term customer equity. Look for leadership among those employees who understand that tough times will be met only by those people and organizations who are tough and up for the challenge. In other words, make heroes out of those employees who in fact are meeting the challenge in a very real way.

When we think about adjusting employee strategy, never has measuring and rewarding employee performance been more important, even if it's only with recognition instead of monetary rewards. We want to make sure that we're making an effort to help our employees understand exactly what we're going through and what we can do to make things better, and how each of them can help. Also, make sure to look for leadership among employees – people who will help to lead others and build strong relationships with customers and stronger equity with the customer base during these tough times.


Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.

This was first published in March 2009

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