What happens on the downward slide?

If your business is failing, you can be assured there will be a downward slide, just how fast that will be or if you can stop it is another thing.

Apart from the sense of impending doom you may feel, there are other things that happen along the way you might like to know about. Here is a short list of some of the things you might like to look for.

  • Your team will sense it – You may not have told them yet that the business is on a downward path, but don’t be surprised if they see it on their radar early in the process. They can feel the downturn in workload, see the lack of income, get a feel from other work areas that things are quiet.
  • Your people will respond – Sometimes not in a nice way, some will jump ship well before it sinks, some may stay on to see if things pick up (shoulder to the wheel and work hard to make sure they give the organisation their best shot), others might just get stuck with being there and not know what to do and quietly go into a panic. Then there’s those that hang in to do what they want while things are quiet (hey it’s not their business so they will milk it for all it’s worth).
  • The customers might notice – They might say, “Oh let’s hang out for a fire sale, think of the bargains we might get!” They stop placing their regular orders with you and hang out for possible bargains.
  • Meltdown can happen – For you and perhaps your team the stress of the situation, the ‘what if’ scenarios running around in people’s heads ‘does them in’, should I do this or do that? Oh no my brain hurts, what now… This can be a difficult thing to handle and if some of the people concerned already have some form of mental sensitivity, then the downslide can make things worse.

While you are trying to stop the downslide and working hard on better Marketing, Operations and Management strategies, the above pointers might seem like an unwelcome distraction. If your business is big enough to have a HR Department then you might throw some of these challenges their way. Your business is all about people, they are the soft resources that drive the hard resources to make your business do what it does, and or they buy what you have to sell. The environment they work in, and how they interact creates the culture of the workplace.  Now ask yourself what do people want and or need to feel okay and continue doing what they do well? Here are some pointers to consider.

  • Communicate clearly and often – Let people know what’s going on so they can feel a sense of security and a connection with the others in the organisation. Honesty can work exceptionally well and galvanise teams to take positive action. Consider this, any leader who has been successful throughout history has been an effective communicator.
  • Keep the information useful – Stick to the point and focus on the positives of what can be done or is being to overcome the challenge. Meetings which drag on become painful to be at and are often dreaded by people that have to be there (except for the time wasters they love to have justification for sitting around doing nothing.)
  • Ask for input – You have a team of people who might be able to give you that one gem of an idea or that one piece of information that can make a difference.  Get brainstorming, you might be surprised by the options that show up.
  • Take action – Use the ideas from the brainstorming session to make something concrete happen.  Then make sure you acknowledge peoples efforts to help out and communicate back to the team/s the results and the actions to be taken.
  • Keep the momentum up – If you lose faith, so will others, as a decisive and effective leader you will be looked upon to provide direction. Keep the ball rolling, make the plan a reality and cause other key people to take positive action as well.

The downslide can be challenging but with these tips you might just find a way forward to reverse the slide and make the climb to greater achievement a reality.

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