Engaging employees during recession

Engaging employees during recessionWe are in a very challenging economic situation currently. As the budget tightens, salaries get slashed; news about lay offs spreads fast, employees become insecure and often leave their current jobs.  Therefore, the challenge of engaging your employees remains with the Human resource division and the management of an organization. The organization needs to ensure that their best talent does not drain away.

During such times the management needs to sense the pulse of all employees as they tend to get de-motivated, are uncertain about their future, are low in morale due to slowdown of business. “Till last year as we were working on new deals and getting more clients for our organization. But now everything has come to a standstill. None of the deals are closing and most of the time there is hardly any work in office”, speaks a Relationship Manager of a reputed bank.

The first step of the management should be to differentiate between the performers and the non performers. And then the management should take a call on how to engage these performers so that they don’t rust. The managers and team leaders can sit with their respective teams and make a weekly schedule for each of them; an achievable target. Talk openly to them about the current situations and do not hide anything. Discuss work and ask for innovative ideas to perform a task in a better way. Praise their efforts from time to time to increase their morale and most importantly to gain their trust in you. In order to motivate employees one can have a goal driven bonus or an award for an employee who achieves a certain target. This creates a competitive edge and they would be motivated to perform better.

“One of the various things that we have done is cultivating a reading habit. Every week we are supposed to read one book and give a brief about the learning from it at the end of the week. Another thing is that we get involved in various corporate social activities like planting trees, teaching underprivileged children once or twice a week, visits to NGOs. This involves minimal cost and employees are also engaged in doing something good for the society”, says an HR executive of a Finance company.

The most cost effective method for engaging employees is to send them for various trainings- soft skills and technical which are within the company’s budget. “One can also conduct in-house knowledge series- talks from various people. This way the employees would also have a chance to interact with gems from various industries and get to share their ideas. Starting a youth club is also another interesting option to engage employees”, says a renowned HR trainer.

Whatever be the way, the management must ensure that they provide a trustworthy and comfortable culture that gives the employees a feeling that they are engaged in doing something productive and their jobs are secure.


- Ekta Bhatnagar (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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