Why you should invest in rising stars as the economy dims

The current economic crisis and looming recession have created a sense of self-doubt among many leaders, especially the rising generation. These people may have survived the post-pandemic roller coaster recovery, but have not experienced how to cope with the hardships and exhaustion of the lingering economic recession.

While many managers claim that the pandemic has trained their “crisis fighting muscles”, the reality is that the compounded crisis and the associated unpredictability, frustration and anxiety are making star performers They can even become tired, passive, and disillusioned.

“Most of our firms have never experienced a real recession, and more importantly, an environment of inflation and stagflation,” one hedge fund manager told me. Many of the company’s young talent were desperate to make it, but the massive value destruction in the stock market has them questioning their omnipotence. more aggressive, more skeptical, more reluctant,” said the hedge fund manager. “How do you get them to think differently and sit at the table like people who have been through those environments do?”

Prolonged uncertainty can provoke irrational and inappropriate reactions across the team. This depends on whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Some withdraw, others speak out more loudly. Little things can cause conflict and confusion.

There’s also the feeling of desperation, like never-ending to-do lists, a barrage of high-priority tasks, that can be paralyzing. I know a leader who regularly conducts phone meetings while driving. Lately, he’s been missing highway forks and is always late. Another leader, usually very nervous, had to show up at the airport without his baggage and take a taxi.

As the World Bank forecasts the risk of a global recession in 2023, central banks are simultaneously raising interest rates in an attempt to keep inflation in check. How can you prepare young leaders for recessions and strike the right balance between care and performance?Organizations should consider these three pieces of advice.

Keep teams connected and engaged

Remember the first few months of your first job? Perhaps there were office tours, welcome breakfasts for new coworkers, and even holiday office parties.

The pandemic has paid off most of these welcoming ceremonies, with many Gen Z meeting colleagues for the first time on Zoom and missing out on team drinks and social events that strengthen the structure of their professional lives.

This has consequences. Cut off from peers and facing heightened economic uncertainty, a Harvard-led study examining a number of health indicators found that young adults aged 18 to her 25 It is perhaps not surprising that they reported the lowest levels of life satisfaction.

When a recession is on the horizon, it may be tempting to double down on your work at the expense of your relationships. But building a collaborative and open environment is essential to laying the groundwork for high performance.

For young talent who started their professional lives amid the pandemic and missed the normal onboarding that helps them feel connected to the wider organization, now may be the time to start day one again. This could include facilitating face-to-face introductions with colleagues who have previously worked together only virtually, or organizing social events where colleagues can discuss non-work topics. may be included.

One of the mistakes companies are making today is canceling offsites and team seminars to save money. But away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day activity, these meetings are often the only opportunity to discuss strategy and dynamics, such as how teams handle conflicts and how they excel as a team.

You don’t necessarily have to go to a 5-star hotel, but make time for your team to give a 5-star performance talk, whether it’s held at a team member’s home or at a less expensive venue is important. Sacrificing relationships risks a “quiet exit,” where people leave the organization feeling unfairly treated or losing trust in the leader.

However, be careful about holding gimmicky events that do not fit the overall atmosphere. One of my clients girlfriend got an email saying that her activity was being held for Merry Christmas while the company was laying off employees. This can seem disrespectful and can have the opposite of the intended effect.

Revive old battle-scarred leaders as mentors

It is important not to assume that young talent is unfit for the job. Labels such as the “snowflake generation” that suggest employees collapse at the first sign of adversity are harmful. There is also the risk of triggering the “failure readiness syndrome” first described by Jean-François Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barceux. This addresses the low expectations managers have of them for employees who are perceived to be mediocre or weak performers.

One approach to helping rising stars cope with the impending economic downturn is to bring back senior leaders who have just retired from living through the high inflation era of the 1970s. You can help young talent learn not just about reality, but about staying grounded, on course, and connected. From combat psychology, we know the value of being “together” and the importance of having a trusted veteran voice, alleviating some of the psychological burden of losing a battle. However, we are still trying to win the war.

rethink what motivates people

In times of uncertainty, many leaders feel the need to pay close attention and have more control over their tasks, timelines, and deadlines. One of his clients of mine said what he really needs right now is a Chief Productivity Officer who can help the organization maintain the pace and quality of work.

Still, it’s important to strike the right balance between building relationships and prioritizing tasks. Constantly hovering over an employee’s shoulder, calling more meetings, or increasing reporting requirements can lead to lower engagement. One of the biggest motivations is empowerment. Asking your team how they’ll thrive in a downturn, how they expect each other to behave, and what their boundaries are are all ways to create trust and transparency. Motivational tactics and incentives Rethinking his schemes to reward “inputs” (efforts, attitudes, adaptations, progress, etc.) rather than “outputs” (measurable results, his KPIs, etc.) Fine tune.

Another big motivation is purpose. People who feel their work is important are more likely to get through tough times. Don’t dismiss “talk of purpose” as a soft move. Talk about how to intentionally perform differently during difficult times. One discounter, which aims to help low-income people live better lives, took the stance that it wants to be known as “the last to raise prices and the first to lower” in an inflationary environment. Conducting purpose exercises that help new hires better understand their personal goals is one way for employees to identify the meaning of their work.

continue to rise

All stars who have risen in good times are now facing a very different reality. there will be Even though their success was partly fueled by the upturn, they may have felt like the architects of their success. You may pay an emotional price for the depression you feel and have no control over.

Leaders must adapt to this shift and intervene before the pressure turns into anxiety and burnout. High performers are rarely the first to recognize or report that they are reaching their limits and seek help. That’s why it’s important to invest in your social support system and increase your chances of connecting with others. Proven Sparring Set up a team with her partner and rethink how you motivate and reward them.

If you act too late, the Rising Star can feel like it’s sinking your ship, weakening your talent bench.

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