Is it Freezing in Here?

I just got back from visiting a friend of mine that I worked with many years ago. He described an all too familiar phenomenon happening in organizations all across America. People are retiring and leaving organizations and they are not being replaced. Hiring freezes is a common practice in companies to maintain a shrinking budget and avoid layoffs. This can be an effective strategy, but the down side is the compounded strain the hiring freeze puts on the existing employees whose workloads are now doubled or even tripled.

Most people are willing to pitch in and pick up the slack – for a variety of reasons such as pride in product or service, loyalty to the company, the “roll-up the sleeves” American spirit, or other intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. These motivating factors are what make hiring freezes viable temporary options. Note the key word here is temporary.

The phenomenon happening today all across America is this “temporary” hiring freeze , no raises, and in many cases pay cuts is now going on 4 to 5 years and our people are FROZEN! They are numb and disillusioned from the cold, aloof ways they are being treated. They are told that they are “lucky” to have jobs and people are walking hallways like zombies.

The connection, enthusiasm, and engagement of the early days of the freeze have worn off and their hearts and heads are no longer connected in the workplace.

Why is this a problem?

When our hearts and heads are not connected, we are not present, not engaged, and far from productive.

How can we thaw out our people? Try the most bold, priceless action in the world – tell them “Thank You”. Gratitude and appreciation immediately connect us to the present moment and instantly connects our head and heart, melting away the frigid temperatures of yesterday.

What are some creative ways you tell your team “thank you”? I love sharing your insight.

With love and warmth,

Content copyright 2012. Dr. Maria J. Church. All rights reserved.