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Jul 1, 2011

How to Adapt Your HR Strategy in a Tough Economic Climate

Human Resources (HR) is often the first part of a business to be reduced when costs have to be cut; something we saw all too often during the recent economic downturn.

While some areas of a business are deemed more expendable than others, a certain amount of HR is certainly needed to prevent your business from falling apart at the seams!

Take a look at these points which could help you adapt your HR strategy to suit the current economic climate.

If funds are tight and you have to cut down on certain areas like pay rises and bonuses simply because you cannot afford them, then try and find other ways to show your staff how much you value their work.

The main aim is to ensure your employees are happy and understand that it is a temporary blip. If possible think of ways to boost morale like fun days out of the office, or team lunch dates.

Recruitment wise, if your company requires more staff, then you may find that in a tough economic climate there are many people seeking employment. This will not necessarily make the job of the HR team any easier however, and they will only have more candidates to sift through in order to find a suitable short list.

You may also require different skills if the economy has dipped slightly: working out more cost effective ways of doing the same job you used to spend money on, is the real challenge for business in touch economic times. For example, if you were keen on paying for advertising space, you may start to consider expanding in-house marketing techniques instead – where spaces like social media and networks can be free and a beneficial source of promotion.

Think about the HR Software you are using too – is this making your job easier or more time consuming? HR departments can become heavily overloaded if people are laid off in that department; so you should make sure your HR Software is a help and not a hindrance.

Hold regular meetings with employees when the company goes through a tough period. Staff may be feeling under extra pressure to perform to stay in their job, and if some employees have been made redundant then the employees that are left may find they have to pick up their work and start to feel over-burdened.

A recession is a good time for an HR department to implement changes in the company; especially after the initial period of recruitment and training and development freezes. Perhaps there is a better and more productive way of doing things in your company? Your managers are likely to be more open to ideas when money is tight and they want to keep the business afloat.

HR departments are under huge amounts of pressure during a tough economic period as they have to ensure the company does not reduce costs on training and development, manage recruitment levels and handle all the complexities of redundancies. But taking the right course of action now, during a time of transition, could leave your company with a bright, focussed HR outlook for the future.

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