The Upturn Is Just around the Corner * Are You Preparing?

Michael Fitzgerald’s Bnet post “Planning for the Upturn” got me thinking about what companies can and should be doing today to ensure they are well positioned for the market recovery.

The biggest risk to companies when planning for an upturn while stuck in a downturn is allowing short-sighted layoffs of key staff. Especially since many teams were cut to the bone during the last downturn, there is very little wiggle room in current staffing models. These short-sighted layoffs have three significant effects:
1) Overburdening remaining staff and fostering fear and disengagement in the ranks, negatively impacting productivity

2) Leaving staff stretched too thin to react quickly when the market does recover, putting the company at a disadvantage to better prepared competitors

3) Causing remaining employees to seriously reconsider their commitment to a company apparently not committed to them when their own career options expand along with economy when good times return

Regardless of these negative impacts, many companies have and will resort to extensive layoffs. So how do you overcome these hidden costs of layoffs to start out with your best foot forward when the upturn comes? The answers correspond to the challenges above:

1) Acknowledge the additional stresses your team is under and thank them for their redoubled efforts. Seek out opportunities to praise them while also addressing their fears and concerns for their own jobs. Communicate clearly and frequently the refined goals and mission of the company during the downturn and how their continued commitment and effort will better position the company for the upturn.

2) Successfully implementing this first step makes your company a desirable place to work and will help draw top performers to you as your ability to rehire expands in the early stages of the upturn.

3) Remaining top performers will better understand the mission and your repeated acknowledgment of their efforts will reinforce the culture of appreciation in the company, reducing the likelihood of their desire to depart.

All of this can be accomplished, measured, and tracked through a strategic recognition program that puts your employees first.

0 comment(s):