Network - Spring 2010 - (Page 23)

O Feature Advancing in the Right Direction Maintaining Employee Optimism During Recession By Shona Welsh, MCEd, CHRP hen American General Douglas MacArthur was forced to abandon the Philippines during World War II, he uttered these wellknown words: “I shall return.” Few know, however, what he said to explain this departure to his own troops: “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.” Some might dismiss this as justification for being defeated at a time when he was supposed to be the saviour of Allied forces in the Pacific. But there’s another way to look at it: Optimistic leadership during times of stress is a powerful motivator for others to remain calm and envision a brighter future. HR professionals are uniquely positioned to provide such optimism as we are often the buffer between leadership actions and employee reactions. We can not only inform and advise leaders on best recessionary engagement practices, we can lead positive and powerful initiatives ourselves. But where should we start? A report issued by the American Psychological Association details the top five expectations employees have of their organizations during good economic times. I believe they become even more important during a recession. W Optimistic leadership during times of stress is a powerful motivator for others to remain calm and envision a brighter future. Expectation #1: Help dealing with stress. Employees spend more time at work than at home, so it’s natural they’re looking for workplace guidance to help them cope. According to a May 2009 study conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the number of Canadians reporting stress has increased by 30 per NETWORK O Spring 2010 cent compared to 2008. A significant number of workers feel they have lost control of their lives as the economic recession lingers – even those who are still employed. HR professionals can be instrumental in helping employees deal with stress by concentrating on three key areas: O 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Spring 2010

Network - Spring 2010
Table of Contents
HRIA President’s Message
Recognizing Excellence in HR
Alberta HR Conference
Economic Crisis or Golden Opportunity? You Decide.
Advancing in the Right Direction: Maintaining Employee Optimism During Recession
Re-energize Your Employees Without Breaking the Bank
HR and the Post-Recession Landscape
Is the Workforce in Limbo?
Current Economic Conditions Breed Good Management
Learning Agility in Times of Change
Preparing for Economic Recovery – Alternatives to Terminations
The HR Office
Index of Advertisers

Network - Spring 2010