With unemployment levels forecast to rise to alarmingly high levels by years end, Australian business leaders must be prepared by building a ‘combat ready’ workforce to survive.
Below are 7 tips on how to businesses can prepare for tough times, by creating a ‘combat ready’ workforce:
1. Refocus the Mission
Tough times are a great opportunity to review your talent strategy and refocus staff on your core mission. Think strategically about how to staff critical management and front line roles that impact innovation, revenue and customer satisfaction, even if job cuts are unavoidable in other areas.
2. Review Basic Training
After a decade of boom markets, update your tactics for recruiting talent in a downturn. Rapid changes in labour supply will make recruitment complex and challenging. Rigorous evaluation, selection and onboarding processes are crucial in this market.
3. Armour the Troops
Equip staff with the survival skills they need to do battle in difficult conditions over a sustained period. Empowering staff to develop personal and professional resilience will be critical to increase productivity and boost morale.
4. Lead from the Front
Get down in the trenches with your troops. Be honest and walk the talk. In these conditions there’s no such thing as too much communication. Top performers will share the burden in good times and bad. Recruit their support and don’t compromise the culture.
5. Discipline and Reward
While focused on survival, don’t forget about troop motivation and morale. You may not be able to do as much to incentivise teams, but don’t do nothing. Ask for results and link rewards to future revenue and profitability goals. Negotiate creatively with new and existing employees.
6. Deploy Reinforcements
Managing new staff, candidate networks and advertising response in this market will be challenging, emotional and time consuming. Outsourcing to a trusted partner enables you to benefit from their experience, spread operational risk and scale costs.
7. Dig In
A team that is well selected, equipped, motivated and led will overcome most obstacles, but it will take tenacity to dig in against recessionary forces. Keep an eye on the macro trends that will affect you beyond the recession and take steps to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate risks.
Jason Cartwright is the General Manager, Client Services for LINK Recruitment (www.linkrecruitment.com.au)