The article How to Keep Your Employees Motivated in a Downturn by Peter Twemlow (published in The Guardian newspaper on the 20th of November 2012) investigates a highly important topic of employee encouragement in the period when the company is going through hard times. The recommendations the author provides are relevant indeed as it is a typical mistake of numerous business leaders to neglect employee engagement concerns while the organization has to deal with outer pressures. (Twemlow, 2012). Yet, I believe that exactly during this period, it is critical to bridge all gaps between top management and employees since collaboration is the key factor determining whether the company will be able to overcome exiting challenges.
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The article is devoted to the issue of employee motivation that may help a business to survive through hard times. The author gives some pieces of practical advice that may help leaders establish effective communication with their employees. They can be summed up as follows (Twemlow, 2012):
- Communication must be reciprocal, comprehensive, and trusting. This implies that leaders should not conceal financial information that can be revealed and keep the staff unaware of the crisis.
- Example behavior must come from the top since employees should see that their bosses can face difficulties with dignity.
- Transparency is essential for winning people’s loyalty. Employees must receive answers to all their questions.
- A Reward system should be reinforced during difficult times. Non-financial incentives are no less important than financial ones.
- Problem-solving groups may help encourage employees and keep track of their contributions. People feel better even about a critical situation if they know that they can suggest ideas on how to improve it.
- Business leaders may use various tools (focus groups, tests, questionnaires, etc.) to investigate what concerns employees have and how they can be eliminated.
The author’s major purpose is to convince the reader that economic circumstances are not decisive in organizational performance. On the contrary, unified and committed staff can produce an incomparable impact on the company’s state of affairs and therefore should never be underestimated.
The author, Peter Twemlow is a professional British reporter working for The Guardian and an associate at DP9 Planning Consultants, who has a direct connection to the business and thus can analyze organizational issues from a practical viewpoint and give applicable tips.
The article provides profound, comprehensive, and well-organized information on how to achieve job satisfaction even when the conditions for this are far from being favorable. The major advantage that it has over other articles on the topic is that the author gives guidelines that managers can apply to create an advanced and inclusive workplace not only during a crisis but also when the performance of the company stabilizes.
The author is quite right emphasizing that organizations having less engaged workforce deal with numerous problems concerning absence level, turnover, and poor collaboration, which cannot help affecting their competitive edge (Twemlow, 2012). The absence of redundant theorization and vague digressions makes the article clear and convincing. Yet, there is also a disadvantage: Unlike other authors, Twemlow does not support his research with any kind of statistics obtained from surveys and questionnaires to prove the effectiveness of the proposed method. Thus, it contributes to the reader’s practical management skills but does not enlarge his theoretical knowledge.
Although employee commitment may seem less significant than crisis management, it is one of the major constituents of any successful business strategy. Even during times of hardship, employers must bear in mind that success is created by people, not by technologies (Wallace, de Chernatony, & Buil, 2013). Thus, according to the article under analysis, employees have a right to be a part of the decision-making system as well as an opportunity to make a difference. The article can be recommended to leaders of any company regardless of its size, industry, mission, or values since every employer should realize the role of HR-management.
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Twemlow, P. (2012). How to keep your employees motivated. The Guardian.
Wallace, E., de Chernatony, L., & Buil, I. (2013). Building bank brands: How leadership behavior influences employee commitment. Journal of Business Research, 66(2), 165-171.