Helping Employees Be Their Best in an Economic Downturn: Cost-Effective HR Tips
By Staff Writer
Surviving economic downturns requires resourcefulness, especially when it comes to keeping employees happy at work. When budgets are tight, your organization’s stress level can jump up. Deadlines shorten, staffs shrink and everyone is doing more with less. Plus, you don’t have as many staff parties, free snacks and outings to look forward to.
Because of all this change, your employees may flock to the human resources department for guidance on staying mentally healthy and productive. You may find yourself walking on a tightrope as you attempt to make budget-conscious HR choices while also helping to alleviate employees’ stress and keep your workforce productive. The good news is that you can maintain an HR assistance program for your employees that is both effective and budget-conscious.
Your benefits and human resources training programs are an area that has a lot opportunity to reduce HR costs to your organization, maintain employee morale and productivity, as well as protect you from further expenses.
5 Employee Training Methods to Help Employees Be Their Best in a Economic Downturn
1. Streamline employee training methods. Employee training is often a source of unnecessarily lost resources. Refine your employee training program by leveraging technology tools available to your organization. Instead of paying an employee to fly to a short-term conference, have them participate virtually through an online training webinar. Tight budgets shouldn’t mean a lack of employee training, just a more cost-effective way to deliver your employee training methods.
2. Reduce employee travel costs. Work-related travel costs add up quickly when you are paying for flights, food, hotel accommodations, and rental cars. Decide which conferences and events are necessary for your organization to attend, then reduce your travel expenses by cutting out the non-essential journeys – even if only this year. Also, avoid extra costs by skipping far away events or only sending key employees to professional gatherings and then ask them to share their knowledge with the rest of the organization.
3. Provide employee training using internal talent. This is a no-brainer, right? You would think. However, a lot of companies find themselves outsourcing training that their own employees are very capable of handling. Find smaller, simpler ways to leverage employee talent that can save your organization a lot of money. Have your employees train each other with learning sessions. For example, if you have a few employees who want to learn more about PowerPoint, you can have those employees that are PowerPoint gurus teach their fellow employees, instead of hiring someone else to lead a course.
4. Use an employee assistance program. During times of extra stress, an employee assistance program provides employee counseling, employee workshops, as well as referrals to legal systems with pre-paid benefits and help with debt management. Employee assistance programs support your efforts to ensure that, despite stressful economic circumstances, employees feel secure and are able to be productive..
5. Manage your liabilities. Are you employees well aware of all of your company’s liability policies? Workers compensation, disability, and unemployment benefits all tend to increase in stressful economic climates. Talk with insurers to see how you can reduce the cost in these liabilities, and communicate with your employees so they know exactly what benefits are available to them.
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