Keep Focused when Managing HR during Financial Recession

Managing HR during financial recession, which will eventually affect most companies and organizations, should focus on keeping everyone calm and together through smart, cost-effective strategies.

The signs are everywhere as even the biggest companies reel left and right from the staggering effects of the financial recession. Layoffs, buyouts, bailouts, mergers, and other undeniably desperate measures are being grasped at like straws. But aside from these drastic measures, everyone should realize that it is just as important to adjust in managing HR during financial recession.

HR or human resources, in fact, plays an even bigger role during tough times than during periods of prosperity and growth. Whenever a company or organization encounters trouble or enters a slump, the group’s morale is certain to take a heavy hit. While to some extent the loss of morale may be alleviated by employees among themselves, human resource departments definitely have to step up as well. In cooperation with management and the leaders within the organization, the HR department has to implement sound, consistent strategies to help everyone through the recession lows.

The first order of business would be to calm everyone down and prevent panicking as much as possible. In doing so, the HR department and management should take care to present and keep up good appearances. Scrambling and hurrying to slap together some sort of message to the organization might be more counterproductive than helpful. Take the time to draft a well thought out campaign. Do not deny what is obvious, that a recession is occurring, but on the other hand, do not focus entirely on predicting doom. Simply reiterate the organization’s mission and state that even through these troubled times, everyone should continue trying their best and working together.

Apart from just drafting a reassuring message to send throughout the organization, the HR department should also begin looking at how it can slim down its processes, in line with the cutbacks that will inevitably have to be made. This might mean reducing bonuses, making parties and other non-necessary events smaller or doing away with them altogether, and even cutting back a little on the training budget. However, as with any budget cut, try as much as possible not to sacrifice quality too much. That is, find lower cost alternatives that are not too different in quality from the processes and policies you already have in place. Creativity and innovation would definitely pay off here.

Assigning top performers to hold in-house training sessions instead of hiring outside experts is an example of cutting costs on training. While this measure might not be quite as effective as hiring a consultant might be, it is still much cheaper. It will also help to build camaraderie among the employees and keep the organization unified.

In summary, with the grave effects of financial downturns, human resource departments are certainly going to have a lot on their hands. Even just staying afloat may prove hard for some companies, let alone continuing to go strong. But managing HR during financial recession is not impossibly difficult, if managers and human resource personnel keep their wits about them and focus on what is important: calming down any panic and remaining unified as an organization.

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