Helping Workers during a Recession

Megan Rowe
February 16 2023
With the current cost of living crisis, heating bills and food prices on the increase, there is growing concern that the nation is now heading into recession. What will this mean for your company? And how can you ensure that you are doing all you can to help your staff through such turbulent and uncertain times? 
Communication is Vital 
Whether your business is already feeling the pinch of the economic crisis or not, communicating to your employees what the current situation within the company will be of utmost importance. It is highly likely that some members of staff will be growing anxious about supporting their family and their future within the company, especially the more recent hires. During times such as this, honest communication across the team is more helpful than you can imagine. 
If employees are left in the dark as to what is happening, they will begin to speculate and try to guess what cost-cutting steps may be taken. This will inevitably lead to tension and unrest within the workforce and have a detrimental effect on the work they produce. Help your team feel secure and maintain a calm and happy work environment by communicating with them what the current situation in the company is and what the first step will be if anything does change. 
Re-evaluate Benefits 
With incomes being spread more thinly, you may consider looking at what employee benefits you are currently offering and whether they could be changed up to better meet employees’ needs. Possibly consider changing some of the more fun bonuses and replacing them with more practical ones, such as help with any healthcare, dentist plans, or possibly a cost of living support bonus to help with growing household bills. Talk to your employees and find out from them what you can do to be helpful, and how you can help support them at this time within the scope of their employee benefits. 
Show Your Appreciation
Be sure to really emphasise your appreciation for a job well done. Taking the time to recognise good work will encourage increased employee performance. Employees are likely to be struggling more to focus on their work at the moment if they have anxiety about their home life and finances, so this encouragement is needed more than usual to help boost morale and show your appreciation for how difficult situations may be at the moment. 
Look at your Bonus System 
Do you currently have a bonus system in place? Maybe this would be a good time to look at how you can upgrade it. Or is this something you could look to implement? Performance-based bonuses will help motivate your staff, encouraging them to work diligently and productively, which is of benefit to the company. It is also another means of helping to support your staff financially and relieving some of the strains they may be experiencing. 
One of the most important things to remember when looking to support your team through any difficult times is that they are human beings before they are employees. Keep that thought at the forefront of all your decisions and expect them to react to uncertainty as human beings would. Expect anxieties and unrest, but approach it with open and honest communication and focus on helping maintain engagement and motivation within your team. Celebrate their achievements, express your gratitude and encourage them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 
What steps are you taking this year to help your team navigate their way through the approaching recession? 


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