Tough times require tough measures. One of those tough measures is not to succumb to knee-jerk reactions of shutting down and shutting off investing in the right things.
Here are 20 other steps that companies take and the misguided thinking behind them.
1. Stop all training:
Developing skills and knowledge is for when times are good.
. Lay off as many as possible:
That should put everyone at ease as they pass by empty cubicles, dreading if they'll be next.
3. Cut expenses except for those of the executive team:
This will certainly make everyone feel as though the bosses are in touch with reality and feel their pain.
4. Cut or freeze salaries, but increase the workload:
There's nothing like feeling you're being taken advantage of and being treated like a hired servant instead of a team member.
5. Stop strategic planning:
This is no time to think about the long-term consequences, opportunities, or possibilities because things are so bad that you'll be out of business soon anyway.
6. Stop research and development:
People are happy buying outdated and mundane products and services.
7. Drop your prices and plead with customers for business:
Let's face it. When times are tough, you want to make less money, which jeopardizes cash flow and your ability to pay bills.
8. Halt advertising and marketing efforts:
You never want to be easily found or to have people think you're able and willing to provide them with products and services.
9. Delay paying invoices to vendors and suppliers:
No one will think less of you if they deliver products and services, but don't get paid or paid on time.
10. Don't follow up or follow through on promises:
When times are tough customers want you to lie, ignore, and do everything possible not to treat them with respect and dignity.
11. Be sure to argue with customers:
You're in the business of taking and keeping as much of the customer's money as possible, regardless of faulty products or bad services.
12. Don't call a consultant:
Consultants are worthless and never have any ideas better than you, so don't bother looking for help from them if you need help.
13. Buy the cheapest things:
Now is not the time to take pride in surrounding yourself with the cheapest people, cheapest products, cheapest vendors, and cheapest services.
14. Don't spruce up the workplace.
So things are a little drab, scuffed, stained, and dim but it doesn't matter because neither people's attitudes nor productivity are influenced by surroundings.
15. Don't bother talking to your team:
Keeping people in the dark and ignoring them is always good for morale and performance. Confusion, chaos, and fear brings out the best in people
16. Don't fire any bad apples:
No matter who is lying, cheating, stealing, or disrupting the workplace, put up with it. People should get used to bad values when times are tough.
17. Forget rewards and recognition:
People only expect to feel appreciated in strong economic times and look forward to being ignored these days.
18. Base your decisions on meeting the next payroll:
: Now is not the time to act like you're in business for the long haul. Everything you do should be based on two-week increments.
. Cut seminars, conferences, and face-to-face meetings:
There is no need to learn, network, or step away from the day-to-day operations because nothing can help improve things.
20. Don't waste time on anything other than the news:
You need to be reminded of bad things constantly. Reading or listening to inspirational, or thought provoking materials will only fool you into thinking or doing better things.
The best thing any business can do is to use common sense.
Vince Crew, is founder of REACH Development Services (www.REACHdevelopment.com). He has more than 30 years of Communications and Ethics experience and holds a master of science degree in marketing and communication, with an emphasis on "Leadership and Ethical Decision Making During the Lifecycle of an Organization." Vince is a national media expert on business innovation, strategic growth and leadership. He has been interviewed by Entrepreneur magazine, Fox Business Network, CNN, CNBC and more. Crew is the author of four books, including his latest, Everyday Ethics, Everlasting Consequences.