Nobody likes hearing the words budget cuts, regardless of their position in a company. It’s difficult to continue putting your all into something that you feel isn’t doing the same for you. But the tone you set when dealing with cuts is likely to have a huge impact on how your business rebounds and if done correctly, you and your team can come back stronger than ever. Keep these suggestions in mind when you go to have the talk.
- Work together to pay for less expensive “necessities.”
Don’t let budgetary restrictions prevent you from getting things you feel like you need. I remember during a particularly rough time at a job I was working that the company decided to stop refilling the water coolers for us. The employees were understandably frustrated, especially given the fact that the building had older plumbing and the water that came from the pipes was less than delicious looking. We decided that water was something we weren’t able to do without and decided that if we took turns bringing a case of water to work, we were hardly spending anything at all. It also bonded us as a team, knowing that we were working together to get through a tough time. If your company is doing similar cuts, don’t let it stop you from doing it yourself. And don’t let it stop you from doing exactly what you want since it won’t be on the company’s dime. If you were receiving catered lunches before, try chipping in for something like Fruitful Office, where fresh fruit is delivered to the office for a very affordable rate. If everyone chips in, you’ll have far more control over what you get anyway.
- Keep the tone positive.
Don’t let the phrase ‘budget cut’ rain on your parade. If you’re the lucky one who gets to deliver the news, take a few tips on how to do it in a way that’s professional, motivating and optimistic. Don’t sugarcoat the way things are so that employees are in the dark with what’s happening, but don’t let the message be, ‘The end is near…’ Explain the situation in plain words, but let them know that you have faith in them that positive changes will be coming. You’re likely to break your employees’ spirits if you only deliver bad news, none of which will make your team likely to work harder. And most of all, let them know that you appreciate them and value their work. Cuts are hard for everyone, so don’t let them feel like they’re being overlooked. Sometimes things are out of our control, but that doesn’t mean good work should go unrecognized.
- Give a light at the end of the tunnel.
Your workers are probably stressed and relatively concerned for the security of their jobs when you bring up the fact that cuts are happening. Give them something tangible to hold on to, a number to work towards where things can carry on as they were before. If things are all very uncertain for the time being, give them a goal to reach and reward them at the end, even if it’s something simple like a party or a small token of your appreciation. It will help them understand that they’re on the right track and remind them that good things will lie ahead if they continue to work hard.
Budget cuts can be a temporary setback if you don’t let them stop you in your tracks. Take control of your company’s future by making positive changes today.