Written by Condon Associates on 16 November 2009
The global financial crisis made every business look at ways to cut costs and stay afloat. This was a difficult time for everyone in business, however it was not the first downturn that has ever been seen, nor will it be the last.
One of the most important lessons to be learned from this crisis was how some businesses maintained staff when others did not.
During difficult times, those in business always look for ways to save costs in an endeavour to maintain profitability. While this is important and necessary for business survival, it is crucial that it is done in the right way.
One thing that those in business can rely on is that over time business will ebb and flow, or in plain speak – it’s either boom or bust.
Regardless of what the state of the nation is, it is always important to maintain a reasonably steady, competent and positive workforce.
This is even more important during difficult times. Therefore I’ve outlined some key things that you can do to protect and preserve your most important asset in the workplace – your staff.
My personal tips are:
* Get rid of unnecessary (in both the staff and management’s eyes) and wasteful expenditure, the message being that it is better to preserve jobs
* Maintain a positive but realistic approach to the future, i.e. you are not off with the fairies but nor are you Chicken Little – the sky will not fall in tomorrow
* Keep staff informed
* If redundancies are necessary – do them in one go, as this will show staff that they are now over. Also do them on a Monday morning so that the staff have the rest of the week to start looking for something new
* Build a team not a hierarchy
* Remember that you are part of that team – you cannot be a leader without a team to lead
* While it is nice to show an interest in personal issues remember to focus on the basics i.e. the business
* Be as caring with family tragedies and genuine illness in the bad times as you would in the good. Everyone will remember
* Continue to seek out positive solutions that suit as many as possible.
If you follow these tips, you can be sure that you’ll get the best out of your employees and that your business will enjoy a healthy retention of staff.