The Challenger, Gray & Christmas Fall 2023 HR Survey Results found that 46% of companies expect a recession in the next 12 months. This is a significant increase from the 32% of companies that expected a recession in the Spring 2023 survey.
In a recession, HR professionals play a critical role in helping their companies to weather the storm. By taking steps to prepare now, HR professionals can help their companies to minimize the impact of a recession and to protect their employees.
Here are some recession preparation tips for HR professionals:
1. Update your workforce plan
Take a close look at your workforce plan and identify any areas where you can reduce costs. This may involve eliminating open positions, reducing hours, or offering voluntary buyouts.
It is important to be strategic when making workforce reductions. Consider the impact of layoffs on employee morale, productivity, and customer service. You should also consider the legal implications of layoffs, such as severance pay and compliance with employment laws.
2. Cross-train your employees
Cross-training your employees will make them more versatile and valuable to the company. This will also make it easier to reduce headcount if necessary.
Cross-training can be done in a variety of ways, such as through formal training programs, job shadowing, and on-the-job training. When designing cross-training programs, it is important to consider the needs of the business and the employees.
3. Invest in employee development
Investing in employee development will help your employees to stay up-to-date on the latest skills and knowledge. This will make them more competitive in the job market and make it easier to attract and retain top talent.
There are many different ways to invest in employee development, such as providing tuition reimbursement, offering training programs, and giving employees the opportunity to attend conferences and workshops. When choosing employee development programs, it is important to consider the needs of the business and the employees.
4. Focus on employee engagement
Employees who are engaged are more productive and more likely to stay with the company. HR professionals can focus on employee engagement by creating a positive work environment, offering competitive compensation and benefits, and providing opportunities for growth and development.
There are many different ways to improve employee engagement, such as conducting regular employee surveys, providing feedback and recognition, and creating opportunities for employees to connect and socialize. When implementing employee engagement initiatives, it is important to be authentic and to involve employees in the process.
5. Develop a communication plan
In the event of a recession, it is important to have a communication plan in place to keep employees informed about the situation and to answer their questions. HR professionals should develop a plan for communicating with employees about layoffs, furloughs, and other changes to the company.
The communication plan should be clear, concise, and honest. It should also be transparent and provide employees with the opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns.
By taking steps to prepare now, HR professionals can help their companies to minimize the impact of a recession and to protect their employees. By following the tips above, HR professionals can help their companies to emerge from a recession stronger than ever.