Tough times call for tough measures - and you will now have to figure out how to hold on to your employees, while staying on budget at the same time.
The fact is that good employees are the driving force behind your business. Contrary to popular sentiment among some business owners, in a recession, they are NOT expendable.
Here's how to keep your employees with you - and away from your competitors - during tough economic times.
Differentiate Between Your Good and Average Employees
You will first have to check the performance of all your employees. You need to do this so that you can identify your good employees, which show potential and others who could be lagging behind due to lack or interest or because they may not be able to handle the pressure.
The good employees are the ones that you will need on your side to brave out the recessionary storm. The bad ones will turn out to be bigger liabilities once the pressure to perform inevitably increases.
Redirect Your Employees to Other Departments
One of the best ways to retain your employees is to redirect them to other departments when the need arises. You can do this from day-to-day, if necessary. For example, if there are too many sales people handling too few sales one week, then you can redirect them to another department until the storm blows over.
That way, you will not have to fire any of your employees, and they will acquire additional skills by learning the ropes of other departments.
However, you'll want to keep your best salespeople in the sales department, since you will still need to concentrate on increasing sales.
Listen To Your Employees
You need to listen to the grievances of your employees in order to nip any potential problems in the bud. This will also inspire confidence in your employees and will enable them to see you as a leader whom they can trust.
Getting feedback from your employees will also enable you to make changes in your policies faster.
Keep Them Motivated and Busy
During lean times, you need to keep all of your employees occupied and busy. This is the best way to keep them concentrated on the business at hand.
Send some of them to attain higher skills, so that their knowledge about your company's products and services increases. Keep them motivated by organizing a small get-together or a short trip on a regular basis to keep their minds diverted from stress.
Lay Your Cards on the Table
You should paint a clear picture when you have meetings with your employees. Explain to them that the recession has forced you to take some harsh steps. Tell them that you expect their cooperation during these tough times and that they will be rewarded when the storm passes.
Being upfront with your staff from the very beginning will help prevent your key employees from jumping ship.
The above steps will enable you to hold your team together during a recession, and will even make bond between all of you stronger. Your employees should be motivated enough to stick to you during tough times and put in the extra effort required for your business to come out of the storm unscathed.