Monday, March 16, 2009

Be honest with your staff

We all need to cut our expenses: Conde Nast staffers are staying with friends instead of in hotels (Gasp), our cash flow is already miserable and GM and GroupM and the rest are going to make us lend them large amounts of money for 60-120 days if we want to work for them, and what did you decide to do about your corporate jet anyway?

So what are you going to tell your staff? Well on the whole you should tell them the truth. Not just because your mum told you that is good practice, but because if you don't they will make up something much worse, or else they will continue to buy very expensive meals on your credit card.

So sit them down all together, because then they will all know that everyone was told the same thing. Tell them what is going on - they read the newspapers so they kinda know. And tell them if you can that their jobs are secure for at least 3 months or that they need to take a pay cut in order for you to stay in business or that they need to help you win new business or that they need to bring their own candles because the electricity will be turned off next week, but won't we have fun all in it together.

Whatever you need to tell them, get them engaged in helping you to mitigate the problem. They want to work. They want some sense of certainty. If they feel like you care and you are trying your best they will respond positively. And the chances of them getting hired anywhere else just now are pretty darn slim.

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