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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

How HR managers can mitigate the repercussions of social recession

Social recession addresses the loopholes and forces painful choices for HR

HR managers and leaders play a vital role in control business operations and managing employees. However, the business doesn’t always run effortlessly and successfully—especially in the time of a recession. And when an economic recession hits, it’s more important than ever for HR managers to be prepared. Because of the lockdown, we have seen a decline in our social interactions and felt the negative impact on our mental and physical health. It is being called the ‘social recession’ — a failure in our social contacts. This can impact people’s moods, health, ability to work, and learn, as well as harm their sense of community

Social recession addresses the loopholes and forces painful choices for HR. Using a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, HR can pull together cost-benefit information.

Here are a few basic points one should keep in mind under the present scenario:

Remember Lessons from the Last Recession: Recessions can be especially tricky for frontline managers, who are often tasked with delivering bad news directly to employees.

Be Vigilant on Morals and Behaviour: During a recession, managers and employees may feel it’s necessary to cut corners to save costs. They may also be tempted to act in a way they otherwise wouldn’t in regular situations/times.

Purpose Can be a Great Unifier: During recessions, HR often assumes employees will “lean in" to help the organization get through the tough times. In reality, they may do the opposite.

Ensure flexibility: Develop a plan to change people to where they’re needed most. Look at the age and other demographics of your workforce so you can anticipate future needs and groom people to take on jobs from within the company when a slowdown suspends hiring.

Ms. Yogita Tulsiani, M.D, and Co-founder at iXceed Solutions said regarding the current situation "Regardless of the sudden pressure on companies to change the old-style way they were already operating; most companies have adopted remote working structures quite effectively. During the novel coronavirus crisis, most companies are thinking about cutting costs and almost no one is thinking about hiring new staff.

Reskilling is the process of teaching new employees the latest and upcoming skills that may allow them to keep up with the changing trends at the workplace and shoulder advanced job tasks. Upskilling is always a necessity to keep up with advancing technology. However, with budget cuts everywhere, hiring new employees can be limiting for even the larger corporations. Therefore, I think reskilling can promote employee retention, eliminate the cost of new hires, and allow the companies to stick to the new plan for operations. Reskilling is the only way to guide your company to ultimate survival and success, especially during financially challenging times.

The secret of making a bigger impact is by acting like a smaller company. Research shows that the reskilling tasks in smaller companies are often more successful than those at their larger foils. Currently, most business models are developing rather rapidly to accommodate the changes necessary to serve their clientele and customers despite remote working circumstances.

Therefore, the team leader(s) needs to enforce strategic planning for determining the key skills at the “right time." As the business operations landscape changes rapidly, you need to think beyond halting on-boarding and budget-cuts on employee training. It’s time for leaders to chalk out a comprehensive reskilling agenda that emphasizes and improves an employee’s overall performance and skills"

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