Cash is Still the Best Comfort in a Crisis

Last Updated Oct 15, 2008 1:35 PM EDT

Employees want their boss to be a great communicator during crises, but cash is still the best way to comfort them, says research.

Communications consultancy CHA commissioned a survey of 1,000 working people to identify what measures best raise morale during times of economic uncertainty. Only one respondent claimed to be happy with the status quo, with the majority saying the single best way to keep them motivated would be money.

A culture of communication and appreciation is also important, according to CHA's chief executive, Colette Hill, with celebrations, honesty and constant communication highlighted as important morale boosters.

Where pay reductions are essential, they should be incentivised by flexible working options. Individual feedback also underlined the importance of little gestures -- buying chocolates or a cheap lunch for the team or investing in a decent coffee machine will help raise people's spirits.

The best ways to engage people during tough times

  1. Pay rise, including bonus or incentives.
  2. Staff party or night out, with food provided by the office.
  3. Praise, encouragement and recognition.
  4. Reassurance about job security.
  5. Flexible working, reducing pay by reducing hours.
  6. Senior management should be positive, involved and honest.
  7. Communication.
  8. More staff and training.