Banking on Leadership


The US banking sector is facing a crisis of confidence as two of the largest banks in the country, Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank, collapsed over the weekend. The failures triggered a massive government intervention to protect depositors and stabilize the financial system. Many employees across all sectors are watching nervously as their futures hang in the balance.

During a crisis such as a recession, leaders must prioritize the well-being of their employees. As the heart of any organization, employees require proactive planning and support through any economic turbulence.

Creating a culture that prioritizes the health and safety of employees, as well as their mental and emotional well-being, is essential. Being transparent about the state of the organization, the potential impact of a recession and any steps taken to mitigate its effects is also vital.

Leaders must be aware of employees' challenges during a recession, such as uncertainty, financial stress, and increased workload. Providing support such as flexible work arrangements, financial planning and stress management resources, and regular check-ins can help alleviate these concerns.

A recent Fortune and Harris Poll survey showed that employees are more concerned about the impact of a recession on their company culture than on their employment status. The survey, which polled 1,000 US workers across various industries and roles, found that 52% of employees are worried about worsening company culture in the event of a recession. This includes reduced morale, increased stress, decreased collaboration, and diminished trust. Employees also expressed concerns about reduced benefits (49%), lower salaries (48%), and increased workload (46%). Only 39% of workers said they fear being laid off.

These results suggest that employees value flexibility, transparency, and recognition more than ever during economic uncertainty. To retain talent and boost morale, employers should offer flexible work arrangements, communicate financial situations and future plans to employees, and recognize employee contributions.

Maintaining a positive and supportive company culture during a recession is crucial. As leaders, it's our responsibility to prioritize the well-being of our teams and create a culture of empathy, transparency, and support. By doing so, we can help our organizations weather the storm of a recession and emerge stronger on the other side.

By Dean Miles

Keywords: Business Continuity, Mental Health, Coaching

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