The stock market finished the year up 27%. Housing prices appear to have bottomed. Unemployment may have too. Most economists are predicting a recovery (of sorts) in 2010. Yet, I’m not seeing too many business owners turning down business due to capacity bottlenecks. No, they don’t seem to be going on expense binges either. As we start 2010, I think the prevailing attitude is grim determination. The overriding idea being “We’re going to continue implementing the results of our strategic planning workshop keeping costs to a minimum and capitalizing on every opportunity we unearth.”
That’s dandy. It’s the grimness in grim determination that isn’t. Organizational confidence isn’t inspired by grim determination. That tends to inspire fear – fear we’re in trouble; fear we’re going to lose our jobs; fear things are getting worse. And, in case you don’t know, fear isn’t the best way to encourage employee productivity over the long haul.
We want to be determined. But, we don’t have to be grim. Don’t forget the second line to the song from Bye Bye Birdie (and title of this post). In case you’ve forgotten, after “Grey are going to clear up”, it’s “Put On a Happy Face”. It may be awhile before grey turns to blue economically and specifically for your business. But, your best means of assuring employee productivity in accomplishing your plans may well be to accompany your determination with a smile. They go together quite nicely – kind of like the songs’ lyrics.