Another Stock Market Plunge, Another Test of Team Spirit

The stock market plunge on Aug. 8 in the wake of the downgrading of the United States' credit rating has rattled all but those who are rock climbing and don't have a free hand to check their mobile devices.

For the rest of us, we can't help but wonder what's going to come next. Internal communicators must now be going back to their fall 2008 e-mails to remember how they handled the last precipitous Wall Street tumble. Employees at large corporations will be waiting for those internal messages that are sure to come, encouraging them all to pull together as a team.

The problem is that news about the shrinking of these teams frequently follows news reports of stock market plunges. The challenge for internal communicators now is doubly difficult, with 2008 still fresh in employees' minds and the pain from that tumble still being sorely felt.

Nevertheless, American companies did bounce back, even if employment levels didn't rise with this lift. It's this resilience of the American worker that needs to be emphasized. Companies should let their teams know that they believe in them—and from that faith from above may come the faith of the rank and file.

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