Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring, don’t panic!

This months post comes from February 2009 edition of our Newsletter; Perform. If you have enjoyed reading our previous posts, please feel free to visit our website where you can sign up for the newsletter and have it delivered straight to your inbox!

The economic conditions around the world continue to be arduous. It is not possible to listen to a broadcast or open a newspaper without being reminded that your job, your house and your security is at risk.


This has an effect on us all. The heightened level of fear arouses us and makes us more open to the herd instincts of fight or flight.

The office gossip, the grapevine or the person in “the know” in your organization now has everyone’s ear!

No doubt management is issuing statements trying to maintain morale and all those good things. How much they are believed depends on their track record of course!

How secure we feel in our jobs depends on whether we have been made to feel a part of the organization with a personal value and not just a hired hand.

People are acutely sensitive to warning signs in this aroused state. The entire normal grapevine monitoring of performance assumes a higher status.

Perhaps the accounting team always stay late at the end of the month to finish the invoicing. Suddenly when they go home is important. Or maybe the pile of enveloped invoices is not as big as it was?

Is the normally cheery Sales Director seen to be glumly returning from the CEO’s office? You all have your own grapevine measures and these may be at odds to official statements, raising uncertainty.

You may recall the BBC’s Dad’s Army comedy and Corporal Jones’s catchphrase. His call not to panic had the opposite effect of course. So what is needed now?

A frank and sober assessment that people believe is what is needed. A history of being open and honest is a great help.

People are not stupid. We know there may have to be painful adjustments to safeguard the remainder. How much better do we feel believing our employer values us individually? Or believing everything has been done to safeguard performance and jobs?

The persuasive and motivating art of communication fortifies such a belief.

Consider these questions:-


• What forms of communication, formal and informal, is your organization using?
• What is the message?
• Is the message coherent and consistent across all channels?
• Is the communication two-way?
• Are people personally valued?
• Are people contributing everything they could to “their” organization?
• When did the organization last review its management of motivation?
• Are most people doing an amazing job and know it?

If you have not reviewed your motivation management processes recently you could be missing critical success factors to achieving excellent organizational performance.

To take advantage of our subsidised motivation management Audit (2009 price £300 + VAT) contact us either by email

If your organization suffers from a paucity of motivation management and you aren’t in a position to change things, print this and put it in front of your Chief Executive!

What will his or her reaction tell you?

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