Recessionary Productivity Strategies: How to Get Lean and Mean in 2009, Part 3 of 3, By Laura Stack, MBA, CSP

laura-stack4Create opportunities – Provide resources

Create opportunities. Challenging, often stressful times can bring out the best and the worst in teams and individuals. Your job as a manger is to create an environment that brings out the best.

Be an advocate for your team within the organization. Let them know that you are there to support them just as much as they are there to support you.

As resources are reduced or shuffled around, there will be numerous opportunities for your people to step out of their traditional roles and do work that might have been out of their reach a few months ago.

What’s that look like, practically speaking?

Provide resources. Give your people the tools they need to get the job done. Certain resources might be scarce commodities throughout your organization and chances are that your folks are in no position to take advantage of them on their own. Let them know that you are there to accommodate reasonable requests. Hold the line on the budget when it makes sense, but be willing to fight for what matters.

Be available. In times like these, your door needs to be open. Let your people know that you are there for them and that you understand what they are going though. They need to know that you know just how hard they’re working and the challenges they face. Be supportive, accessible, and reinforce that you understand the limitations of your lean, mean team.

Let them excel. Allow your people to step up and take on stretch assignments. Not only will you create an invaluable development opportunity, but you’ll also learn a lot about the capabilities of your best folks. Give every member of your team a shot at blowing you away. There’s no excuse for your team not to come out of the other side of this economic downturn smarter, more skilled, and more productive.

Click here for Part 1 or Part 2.

© 2009 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004). Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M. To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. Visit to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter.

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