Bracing for Uncertainty: Why It’s Time to Shore Up Your Team

Tara Powers, Powers Resource Center

Are we? Aren’t we? It seems every other news clip is predicting a recession or at least an economic downturn. Media coverage concerning continued supply chain shortages, a tight labor market, and uncertain economic growth has company executives nervous. Likewise, employees are feeling anxious about what their futures hold. 

So what is the key to riding out a possible recession? How can companies prepare to weather a storm? Tara Powers, CEO of Powers Resource Center and an expert in talent development and leadership training suggests, “during this time of uncertainty, smart companies are working to shore up their greatest asset – their people.” Powers adds, “we are in a knowledge-based economy in which corporate valuation has shifted from physical assets, proprietary technology, or even customer base to human capital in assessing a company’s long-term value. Physical property and dynamic technology can evolve rapidly, but the need for a solid employee base and strong company culture doesn’t change.”

As the pace of the corporate world continues to move at lightning speed, companies are realizing that they hire people, not for on-demand skills or specific experience, but more importantly for a cultural fit and alignment with values. These attributes are more long-lasting in contributing to long-term stability and ultimately a company’s bottom line.

In the era of the “great resignation” which has seen a record 47 million people leave their jobs in 2021 alone, the cost of turnover is higher than ever. The average cost to hire for a same position can be as high as 1.5 times their salary. The damage to team morale, lost productivity, and strain on human resources makes a solid employee retention plan all the more worthwhile.

In considering the dilemma of how to grow and retain effective teams, Powers offers this insight, “the number one attribute to focus on to strengthen team dynamics and cultivate a healthy company culture is TRUST.”

At a time when trust in government, trust in the stability of the economy, and even the solidity of huge companies are at an all-time low, this value is worth its weight in gold. Employees desire to have faith in their employers’ efforts to cultivate an environment that is healthy, safe and supportive of their overall well-being. In short, they need to trust that their employers have their backs.

Powers offers advice to lay some basic foundations for building trust.

  1. Communication. Build the space for open and honest dialogues. Allow for employees to offer feedback and insight into what is working and not working for them.  Encourage managers to offer input into company processes and provide for an open flow of ideas and opinions. By constructing a company culture that is authentic, people will feel comfortable being their true selves and will ultimately take more ownership of their role.
  2. Training. Invest in leaders. An astonishing number of managers report little to no training at all. When managers are not given appropriate tools to do their job, the ripple effect across a team and across the broader company can be devastating. The adage about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link holds true. If employees don’t trust that their managers know what they’re doing or have the right tools to do their job, they won’t trust their guidance or leadership.
  3. Recognition. Research has shown post-pandemic as many as 50 percent of workers are considering a job change. When diving deeper, it’s not for reasons of compensation or even career path. Workers want to feel valued and appreciated and that the work they are doing matters. Investigate what is working, where employees’ true interests and strengths lie, and build upon that. Celebrate the small and large successes.
  4. Embrace varied work styles. Roughly 25 percent of resigning employees cite a lack of flexibility in their work schedule as a reason to quit. The walls of a traditional work environment have been blown out. Managers need to embrace this evolution, and strive to develop teams that work under the constructs of what their employees want. Give employees the freedom to explore and develop work styles and parameters that work for them and provide the support and tools required to accommodate an evolved team dynamic. 

The team at PRC has worked for more than two decades to perfect the art of team building and cultivation of a healthy company culture. Utilizing our proprietary assessment and training tools is an efficient way to support employees and managers in doing their jobs. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team (5B), a Wiley Assessment program, is one example of an evaluative tool in our suite of programs. The team at PRC can provide an honest and objective “temperature check” of an organization. We can develop a fully customized strategy for building team cohesiveness and ultimately grow a company culture that keeps employees engaged, invested, and in it for the long run.

And for those ready to dive more deeply into the wisdom and implementation of 5B, the next accreditation course begins on Oct. 6. Learn more and register here.  OR contact PRC today for a custom solution to level up your team trust, connection and cohesion STAT!

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