Surviving crisis in IT
Lately I’ve been wondering that my posts are maybe a bit too general. This is why I want to share some really existing problems with you and my attempts to solve them.
At our company we had a rough time during the last year. On worst months we had only around 500 EUR income for the whole company, however we managed to survive and here are some hints on how to achieve it.
- Transparency is the key to everything. If you are forced to delay payments to your employees, make sure they know everything about the situation. Hiding information can only lead to negative aspects, revealing it may lead to even positive reaction (for example almost all employees will just think, that you keep more money for yourself instead of paying them. Nobody will believe you, that you’re out of money too)
- By your commitment to share the status quo you call in two outcomes, which are good for both sides – people, how really rely on regular payments (for example if they have to support non-working family members or pay credit rates) will leave as soon as possible, so you will avoid conflicts with them in future (and believe me, conflicts with this kinds of people are the most terrifying) and they receive a possibility to look for a “steadier” job as soon as possible (which will mitigate their financial drawbacks).
- The second outcome will result in a win-win-situation – some people will still say “okay, I’m staying, you can pay me whenever there is more income”. For you, as a company owner this is good because of two reasons – these people commit themselves to their job, meaning they will really work (since if they don’t, there is no point in staying, they will want their money). The second reason is simple – you can rely on those people in future. Both sides will know, that there are ups and downs, and if you survived together, this will strengthen your bond.
- Next key point is the presence of a “leading idea”. And by that I understand some higher goal which your company should ideally have and try to achieve. Let’s consider an example – say, your company creates only generic websites for clients (shops and landing pages). Chances are, when in trouble, people will think – well, there is nothing special in my job, why should I even stay? Instead, if you are developing an interesting SaaS solution, which could impact thousands or millions of people, well – it’s almost everytime worth suffering for.
Last but not least
Don’t forget to reward people for their loyalty. If you survive the crisis together and you behave like an asshole at the end of the day, the most loyal employee will be your most terrific nightmare.