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Jose Vicente Semper beleaguer | How Growing Businesses Manage Talent in a Recessionc

What do growing businesses do when others are releasing staff in panic? This article look at an important aspect of adapting your systems i.e. how to manage your people.

Invest in yourself as a Leader

As a leader you will need a lot of re-education and learn new tricks. You are too key in the equation to be ignorant. Invest therefore in knowledge, skills, seminars, exhibitions and market awareness and explore how others have made it. If you can afford a good online training course to “sharpen your saw” do so. Invest in a high quality internet line and spend time online equipping yourself (knowledge is amazingly cheap on the web) on the issues relevant to your business.

Find exceptional talent

This is not the time to bring in your cousin looking for a job. On the labor market will be very exceptional talent available for median compensation pay. Find out the skill gaps in new areas to be ahead in the innovation required to grow. Indeed there is unemployment, but the people you need (who can make a difference) are rare to find – this is the time to search and find them. For example, you will need great financial engineers, digital information experts, and market makers…always bring in people who are smarter than you and who can challenge you and not just loyal “fools”. What you need are ideas and help. Be humble to seek and enjoy help from others. Learn to celebrate and motivate others to help you.

Reengage with your team

The growing business will be reengaging with his people and creating a sense community instead of fear of job loss. You can demand more loyalty and sacrifice at this time. The growing businesses classify their people into performance categories and will offer voluntary release to the lowest tier of performers while they reconnect with their stars. Bonding and a sense of shared destiny is important so that all are aligned to help the business survive and grow.

Rewarding your people

The high-performing businesses use variable pay mechanisms i.e. a portion of compensation is fixed and others dependent on corporate/personal performance. To adjust for the recession, the best strategy is to reduce the fixed pay across the board and increase the variable performance pay. This way, high performers retain or increase their salary while in a very bad period, and all will feel the brunt of reduced pay in a way that is perceived as fair. Be sure compensation mechanisms are fair and targets are as quantitative as possible.

When things begin to get really bad

There could be very low periods when releasing staff is inevitable. Begin by offering voluntary unpaid vacations, and flexible work (at home) at say half pay…use the opportunity to tighten your disciplinary systems. If you must disengage, then do not encourage an extended process. Do it fast as it could hurt morale. Always remember that as you let a valued staff go – it may be almost impossible to find, recruit and retain such talent when recovery returns.

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