As our economy continues to shift and evolve, so must a company. And, as such, so must the people inside of it. Downsizing or ‘Rightsizing’ or whatever you want to call it often means that the work of three is now being done by two, 1.5 or even one person.

More often than not, the biggest hurdle isn’t the actual doing of the work but instead those left behind getting past the memory of the ‘good old days’ when it was done by three. Left unattended, this will turn into a breeding ground of low morale and bad attitudes.

I ran into this all the time in the days when I helped to revive dying banks. And the best way I found to overcome it was to have a frank conversation with any lone survivor(s) who exhibited the early stages of a terminal attitude.

I began by empathizing with them and together we lamented the fact that there were more people manning that station in the past. I then turned the conversation around in an attempt to do us both a favor and not sugar coat the new reality. Because at the end of the day, the work to be done hadn’t changed, nor would it and it’s now up to them to perform.

I explained that if they didn’t perform the tasks I’d have no choice but to replace them. And that the person replacing them would not have the memory of three people, once upon a time, doing the work. Instead they’ll simply dig in and perform with the zeal of a newcomer.

So their decision was clear – to walk in each and every day and perform the work to be done at the level required. And if they no longer wanted to do this we’d simply shake hands and part friends. Yes, I had a few walk out but that’s OK because it’s best to know now rather than later that you have someone you can’t count on in a pinch.

Know that whether downsized or not, as a leader it’s your job to ensure that each person within your organization makes that same fundamental decision to do the work.

The ultimate success of your organization depends on it.

Dwain – The Biker Guy

As always – These are my thoughts and I look forward to yours.  So, if you disagree or simply want to pile on, please do so either here on the BLOG or email me directly at Navigator@BikersGuidetoBusiness.Com  I look forward to hearing from you.