While he admits there is “no magic formula” for getting the most out of your staff during the downturn, there are things you can do to retain and inspire your people.
“You’ve got to lead by example,” Bawany says. “That, to me, is the key. Young people, particularly those under 25, have never experienced a negative situation. Senior management must be there to support staff, they need to lead by example, show them what needs to be done and reassure them that this is a phase that we’re going through and that the company is going to come out at the other end."
A lot of companies are reigning in their spending to prepare for the seemingly-inevitable recession but Bawany believes that shouldn’t mean taking away performance incentives: “We’ve lowered targets for the sales team but we’re still giving incentives. For example, we offer bespoke shirts as a short-term incentive to get people excited”
He adds: “Team-building is also important. Staff can forget that we’re all in this together so you have to support them. It’s important to spend money on them so that they feel supported at this tough time.”