American Family website contains a survey which asks “do you believe in the American dream”. I was surprised to find out that only 49% of people who voted believed in the American dream.
Many of you are facing very hard decisions in light of the current economy. Everyone has an idea about what it is going to take to obtain recovery, however, I know from past difficult situations in my business, professional, and personal life that the first step in recovery is a change in mindset. Below are some tips gleaned from several sources regarding restoring not only productivity but hope in the American dream.
THERE IS MEANING If you as an owner can revisit what brought you to do what you do; to find the reason and the meaning for your business’ existence, you will find something worth fighting for. Once you have regained this focus and perspective you can work on communicating that information to employees in various ways.
If you don’t have a vision or mission statement, you can create one. You can have that posted throughout your offices, on your website, on the signature lines of employees email, and on their screen savers.
You can reevaluate the processes to ensure that your internal processes and procedures are in line with that vision. You can communicate to each employee how their job tasks and positions play a part in that overall vision. Small businesses owners and employees who are in touch with the purpose of their work are more productive and happier with that work.
THERE IS GOOD Now is the time to celebrate every victory. Employee achievements, company achievements, even client achievements when celebrated will lodge themselves in the psyche as reminders of what is possible. In fact, Gallup researchers believe that this is one of several ways to build employee engagement during these uncertain economic times. Praise encourages and empowers employees. It gives them goals to work towards.
THERE IS SECURITY Obviously, you are putting yourself and your company in danger if you go around promising everyone that they will not lose their jobs. In creating security, you need not focus on things (benefits, pay raises, etc.) but rather values such as trust .
The first step in establishing trust is knowing what you can do. Business relationships are constantly changing. As the people and companies change, so do the terms of the relationship. You need to reevaluate those companies you use to source and fund your business so that you can set realistic expectations for both your clients and employees. Once you have communicated reasonable expectations, do everything possible to meet those expectations. Finally, if you don’t meet expectations, admit that failure and restore the relationship. Although tasks should be executed as if failure is not an option, our humanity make this an impossibility over an extended period of time.
These methods don’t require you to live with your head in the sand or in a pink bubble. You can understand the reality of a situation and still believe in your American dream.