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How to get the most from your staff during recession

Achieving a flexible, motivated workforce which can adapt to a changing market is essential for a successful business. By Andrew Edge

Here are five tips to maximise the flexibility and dynamism of your workforce. 

Coordinate from the centre

If organisations can retain existing staff, they provide the continuity and skills base to successfully grow the business. For example, appointing a resourcing manager, who can work closely with regional teams can help ensure that a company is able to quickly redeploy employees from one area of the business to another, rather than laying staff off from one area and taking them on elsewhere.

Communication is key

The HR team needs to have a thorough understanding of the ongoing recruitment needs of every scheme the business is involved in, as well as likely contract wins. This is a challenge for a nation business, but it is critical. Clear communication will help achieve substantial recruitment cost savings and maximise staff retention.

Job titles must be flexible

Job titles – and responsibilities – can change if seeking a new role within the company.  Employees need to be encouraged to keep an open mind. When new roles become available, the HR team must market the core transferable skills required for the vacancy across the company, to maximise the chance of an internal appointment.

Invest in training

To provide more opportunities for staff to transfer across the business, there must be the training support to facilitate this.

Listen to your staff

Support the roll out of the strategy through seeking staff feedback. Set up a staff consultative committee and conduct regular staff surveys. Obtaining comprehensive and regular feedback will allow you to monitor whether staff satisfaction levels are improving, and tailor the strategy if necessary.

Andrew Edge is human resources director for the Apollo Group.

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