Recessions are unpredictable. Yet right now, we’ve been dealing with a recession and the aftermath of one since 2020.
Interest rates have changed drastically throughout the last year especially as the government looks to turn around these financial woes the last few years have brought us.
So one thing employers can be certain of right now is that employees’ financial standings may be just like recessions: unpredictable at best.
This leaves employers in an interesting place to come up with strategies and solutions for both their organizations and for their employees.
Even if a recession doesn’t come in 2023, it’s better to be prepared than not.
Recession-proofing your company
There are a few things that you can do to prepare for a recession.
Creative staffing solutions
When a recession hits, or the threat of a recession looms, many employees worry about the safety of their career. However, rather than reducing your staff size entirely, there are other options to keep your business running and employees secured.
The simplest creative staffing solution is implementing alternative work schedules.
This could look like flexible or reduced hours. While no one wants their hours reduced, this at least allows employees to maintain their employment status and especially their workplace benefits. One of the biggest threats to employees if they lose their job is losing all of the benefits they receive when being employed: medical, dental, vision, financial wellness, mental health, etc. Reducing hours may not be ideal, but it leaves some room for employees to utilize other benefits as needed.
Another area for organizations to look at is in evaluating what expenses are critical to the business and which expenses are not. A few areas to start which tend to be considered more expendable income are:
- Reducing office expenses
- Limiting or prohibiting business travel
- Scaling back departmental budgets
- Managing cash flow more aggressively
- Reducing the physical footprint of office space
Many organizations already cut back on some of these expenses due to the Pandemic, but if you look close enough, there’s likely additional areas where you can skim some costs down.
Prioritize what your employees want
Through transparency and frequent communication, you can boost your employees morale a lot easier than you think. Employees value open and consistent communication.
- Survey and ask your employees what would help them during this time
- Provide consistent communication about the state of the organization
- Supply employees with financial resources if they need them
- Encourage employees to ask for help when they need it
- Recognize employees for their hard work
- Encourage employees to engage with others in the workforce
- Keep communication channels open to HR and organization leadership
Organizations that put a significant emphasis on recognizing employees see engagement levels increase by nearly 60%. Sometimes this looks like praise and other times this looks like benefits and providing them with what they need to stay afloat.
Cross-train your employees
Naturally, when you’re looking to save some money, spending money on new hires can be a huge chunk of change. This is a good time to save money from new hires and really cultivate the employees you do have. In other words, implementing a temporary hiring freeze doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds.
When you take the time to cross-train your employees, you provide them with additional skillsets. This not only benefits your organization, but it benefits them as a valued member of your team. And similar to number 3 above, it shows you value and prioritize their wellbeing in your organization.
Offer more benefits
One of the smartest things you can do to prepare your employees for a recession is to offer employee benefits that can provide relief during tough financial times. Benefits that will help them:
- Save more money
- Earn cash back on regular, expected expenses
- Provide safe, secure and reliable loans
- Increase opportunities to increase credit scores
- Debt management solutions
- Free financial planning
Overall, we don’t recommend reducing employees’ pay or their benefits. Both provide valuable incentive to employees to keep them engaged and productive.
Dropping financial stress together
Because recessions bring about more financial stress than any other stress, providing financial wellness benefits to employees becomes that much more important. And these benefits can be super easy to implement and can be free to offer.
TrueConnect’s Financial Wellness Platform is a no cost program that takes little effort to implement and manage. Want to learn more about TrueConnect’s Financial Wellness Platform? Click here.