When times are this tough, it’s important to look after each other

Printweek editor Darryl Danielli
Printweek editor Darryl Danielli

It’s official, the world is, seemingly unstoppably, going to hell in a handcart.

Inflation is already in double digits and is expected to get worse before it gets better.

The Bank of England interest rate had its biggest single leap for decades and is also set to get even higher.

Energy price hikes are showing no sign of abating, and with winter looming are only going to get worse.

And then to top it all it seems all the major trade unions are either already involved with or are threatening industrial action across their sectors.

In short, anyone with a more than a passing interest in economics seems to be predicting a global recession with some cheer mongers even pondering if the UK may fare worse than most.

So far, so depressing.

Clearly all the above, while out of your control, is a major concern for all industry leaders, but look beyond that and the resulting cost of living crisis is likely to be an even greater worry for many of your people in the coming months.

And while you may not be able to afford to give everyone inflation-busting pay rises to offer them immunity from their spiralling outgoings – let alone curb inflation and interest rate rises or resolve the war in Ukraine – what you can do is ask them how they’re doing.

Because one of the few positives that came out of the pandemic was managers developing a greater awareness of and interest in the mental health of their teams.

And while you might not be able to control the economy, there’s nothing stopping you being a good boss and checking in every now and then to see how your people are bearing up in the challenging months ahead.

Because the trickledown positive impact could be powerful and while their challenges may be different from yours, who knows, someone might even ask you how you’re doing too – and the virtuous circle is complete.