Retaining strong people is more important in a downturn than when the economy is strong. The biggest reason is that you’ll expect more from them. While the workforce shrinks, these leaders will take on more work. They’ll make more difficult decisions. You will ask them to step up while people around them are disengaging.
A resource-based company in Calgary had scheduled to run a leadership development program for its key talent earlier this year. It was an important investment in these high potential leaders. A week prior, the Executive Team had made the painful decision to lay off 10% of its managers for the first time in the company’s history. It was a necessary decision for the survival of the company. Now was it the right time to proceed with the leadership development program? The Executive Team said yes. They rationalized that the quality of leaders who remained now mattered more. These leaders needed to rebuild their teams, find creative ways to share resources and provide a clear direction to their departments. They placed a bet that strong leadership was the way through a tough time in the company’s history.
About the Author
Seonaid Charlesworth, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Succession and Assessment at LHH Knightsbridge. An expert in industrial psychology, she advises Boards and CEOs on C-level succession. She has designed succession and assessment programs for Fortune 100 companies, public utilities and government agencies in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, and Brazil.More Content by Seonaid Charlesworth