What Are Your Recession Resolutions for Employee Engagement?

CC Holland recently wrote in Bnet of "4 Recession Resolutions for Leaders" originally espoused by Jack and Suzy Welch.

1. Stay on the offensive.
2. Pledge to support and enforce integrity.
3. Address the Employee Free Choice Act. (a loosening of requirements to establish a union in U.S. workforces)
4. Finally, remember to celebrate.

I see many ways strategic employee recognition reinforces or addresses this four critical issues brought up by the Welchs.

1) Stay on the offensive -- Yes, employees are afraid, angry, resentful and distracted by rumors due to the recession. Strategic recognition reaffirms employees in the value of their contributions, acknowledges the additional work and effort they are being asked to perform, and allays rumors.

2) Pledge to support and enforce integrity -- Making integrity a reason for recognition in a strategic program gives employees and managers the ability to acknowledge and appreciate that aspect in their colleagues. Executives can also track areas where integrity may not be recognized at all or very infrequently and target that group or division for specific intervention.

3) Address the Employee Free Choice Act -- Employees who are well cared for and appreciated by their company, even in a recession, will generally act in the best interest of the company. By using strategic recognition principles to frequently recognize and encourage team members in a stressful time, company leaders communicate clearly their commitment to the well-being and future of the employees.

4) Remember to celebrate
– Jack Welch, former CEO of GE commented on this topic specifically: “(T)his year — because of its severe challenges — is sure to be filled with remarkable small victories and heroic efforts. What a lost opportunity to build morale it would be, then, not to recognize and reward the people who are overdelivering.”

Of course heroic efforts should be recognized as well as those "people who are overdelivering" as the Welch's say. However, Jack Welch also said in Winning: "But everyone in the middle 70% needs to be motivated and made to feel as if they truly belong."

In this recession when companies need to the most productivity out of all employees, then encouraging, motivating, appreciating and recognizing ALL employees for their sincere, diligent efforts that support the company goals and values is critical.

What are your recession resolutions? What would you add to this list? Be sure to take our weekly poll.

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