How can you motivate staff if financial news is causing anxiety and limiting raises or bonuses?

People join and stay at firms for their long-term career benefits, not for short-term salary considerations.

People join and stay at firms for their long-term career benefits, not for short-term salary considerations. People want the opportunity to work on compelling clients and on the more interesting issues and brands.

Employers should provide truly long-term (three years or more) career plans and help staffers know what it takes to succeed. Managers need to learn about their employees' professional career goals and coach them on how they need to develop to be considered for future roles.

Firms must have an accurate, actionable master narrative about who they are, and communicate their plans during the current economy. Each employee must clearly understand the company's goals. It's important to always be transparent and genuine with staff, and really listen to them.

Finally, employees are anxious because they feel the economy is out of their control, which causes a feeling of helplessness. The opposite is the case. PR pros are in control of their own professional growth by understanding their firm's goals and paying relentless attention to clients.

Laura Smith is the MD of HR at Edelman.

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