Keeping Your Team Engaged in a Crisis

If you read Make Their Day you might remember Remedy Software. They were acquired by a company that quickly pulled them into a quamire when accounting descrepancies emerged. The CEO and CFO of the parent company resigned and, ultimately, the company was delisted on NASDAQ.

This was a company in crisis. Many companies are in crisis today. Does that mean that, along with being leaner, they have to be meaner? Hopefully, you know the answer to that question is a resounding “No!”

Remedy chose to maintain its pre-acquisition values and strategies. They put people on equal footing with profits and customer satisfaction. They did everything they could to insure that people felt valued. Yes, it was a lot of work. Yes, sometimes managers dug into their own pockets to pay for recognition that the struggling parent company wouldn’t authorize.

The result? They maintained morale, increased customer satisfaction, and grew their revenue stream!

Your organization is probably having a tough time of it. You don’t have money for raises. Hours are being cut. Pay is being reduced. There is no money for recognition. Morale is suffering. There couldn’t be a better time not to abandon your recognition efforts.

Keep these points in mind:

  • The most meaningful recognition is free. It is a few positive words, an assignment that provides a development opportunity,  or even a chance to spend a few minutes just chatting with someone within your reporting structure.
  • People want to be part of the solution. Keep them apprised and ask for their help in getting back on track.
  • Plan some fun celebrations (find something to celebrate!)…but remember that when employees are sacrificing raises or even having their pay cut, they don’t want to think that you are squandering their money.
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3 Responses to “Keeping Your Team Engaged in a Crisis”


  1. 1 Haines Maxwell March 10, 2009 at 3:19 am

    Cindy…thanks for the reminder that PEOPLE are a company’s most valuable asset. I’m reminded of a lady I met who was a vital employee in a small marketing firm. She had fantastic pay and very flexible hours which accomodated some school schedule issues with her children. She told me she was leaving the company, however, for one reason – she didn’t feel appreciated. Wow. Of course, money is important to all of us but over the long haul folks need to know that they have a recognized and important role on the team. How will they know if we don’t communicate that to them. Amen?

  2. 2 Dr. Barbara Keaton March 10, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Cindy, help me to understand your writing on this topic. You mention Remedy as failing and being delisted. Then you go on to say that they were a great company — putting employees on equal level with profits etc. Please clarify. Thanks, Barbara

  3. 3 Cindy Ventrice March 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Haines and Barbara,

    Thanks for your comments.

    To clarify, Remedy was acquired by a company that had huge problems. AThe parent company initiated the crisis, not Remedy. Remedy continued to perform as a great company that put people level with profits, and as a result, remained robust. It wasn’t long until they were once again sold to a much more solid company.


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My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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