In these tough economic times, your business growth might have halted - or even gone into reverse. To counter this problem, you might have had to let go of a few of your employees to ensure that your business remains afloat.

The issue now is how to handle your remaining employees, who may be living in dread that their necks could be next on the chopping block.

Keep the Communication Channels Open

It will be on you to explain the details that led to the downsizing. Hear out the problems afflicting your present employees, and assure them of their jobs - if you are confident that no further downsizing will be required.

Basically, you will need to assure them that downsizing was necessary for the survival of the business - and that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that only the best employees are now left to run the show.

Keep Your Staff Busy

Give them enough work to keep them occupied. They really will go into a panic if they are left without any work for a long time. As it is, the workload of your remaining employees will probably automatically increase since you will now have fewer hands on deck.

Keeping your employees busy will pay off for you, because it will prevent their minds from wandering off into unwanted territory (e.g., looking for another job).

Make Plans for the Future

You should make business plans for the future and start implementing them. Your employees should also be clearly told about these plans, and specific roles should also be given to each of them so that they are assured of their position in the company.

This will lift their spirits and give them something to look forward to in the future. Taking this step will result in a positive atmosphere at the workplace.

Remain Calm and Confident

Downsizing will affect not only your employees, but also your mental state. Fears regarding the future will probably be lurking in your mind, but the key is to make sure your employees don't see this.

Assume the role of a caring but confident leader. Keep a cheerful disposition so that your employees can try to let go of their worries.