1. Think long term • Think creatively about how to reduce employment costs, such as new ways of working and work reorganisation. • Remember that making people redundant and recruiting again later when the market picks up is expensive. • Protect and make the most of the training budget – focus resources on key areas such as improving line management capability and customer service. • Bear in mind your long-term reputation and responsibility to act as a fair employer. 2.Maintain employee engagement • Redouble your efforts to boost or maintain employee engagement. • Manage expectations and set a clear sense of direction. • Keep employees in the picture even when there is little concrete news. • Use all available media to beat the rumour mill. • Think about creative, non-financial ways of motivating employees such as recognition schemes, team-building days and employee awards. 3. Strengthen line management capability • Support your managers so they are better able to operate in periods of traumatic change. • Brief line managers in full on developments so they can talk to their teams – face-to-face communications are best. • Recognise the vital role that line managers play in every aspect of the employment relationship – make sure they are properly trained in day-to-day people management skills. 4. Support employees’ health and well-being • Recognise the psychological burden and
...Read more in BIG MARCH 2009 Issue


Ways to manage your workforce in recession

below are some guidelines to managing and retaining your workforce during a recession.
impact that can arise in a recession – make sure workplace support and occupational health provision are in place to prevent high levels of workrelated stress. • Where possible provide opportunities for flexible working to help employees balance their work and home lives. • Ensure you have mechanisms in place to deal with workplace stress and potential conflict at an early stage. 5. Develop a strategy for redundancy so it’s there when you need it • You need to start thinking about how you will handle significant redundancies at least three months before you anticipate they might need to take effect. • Ensure the HR team is equipped to deal with redundancy situations at both collective and individual levels. • Establish a policy and procedures to be used if workforce reductions are unavoidable. • Manage any redundancy situation in a fair and equitable manner. 6. Think about ways to minimise redundancies if reductions are inevitable • Take advantage of natural wastage and/ or offer voluntary redundancy terms – redundancies can have a serious negative impact on morale and performance. • Cut back recruitment and review your use of temporary staff. • Retrain employees whose skills are no longer in demand and redeploy employees to other parts of the organisation where possible. • Consider short-time working, temporary lay-offs or sabbaticals. 7. Consult with your workforce and employee representatives • Set up a special employee forum or consultative body long enough before the redundancies occur to provide information and to consult. • Consult employee representatives about ways to avoid redundancies, reducing the number to be dismissed and mitigating the consequences of any redundancies. • Recognise the difficult but key role that employee representatives have to play. reassure them that they will not suffer as a result of carrying out their role. 8. Retain key people • In selecting people for redundancy, use objective criteria that can be applied in an unbiased way. • Ensure that the selection criteria are based on accurate records and are not discriminatory, directly or indirectly. • Ensure that you are not losing vital skills in encouraging voluntary redundancy. 9. Help redundant employees to find other work • Those who are facing redundancy need support and advice on how to cope. –Give time off to let affected employees look for other work or arrange training. • Remember your treatment of employees who leave the organisation will impact on the attitudes and loyalty of those who remain. 10. Plan for the future • Reallocate jobs and responsibilities among the remaining workforce. • Reorganise work spaces to eliminate gaps where people used to work: plan for a fresh start. • Provide training for new jobs and new positions. • Communicate at all stages and pay particular attention to ensuring that line managers are fully involved in change. • Give positive messages focusing on opportunities and challenges ahead. B.I.G

march 2009