Read full post: Navigating HR Strategies During Economic Uncertainties

Navigating HR Strategies During Economic Uncertainties

HR can be a key ally in times of economic difficulty. Our skill in managing difficult employee relations cases has taught us to think outside the box, embrace uncertainty, and never shy away from a challenge. Plus, we know exactly how to make the most out of a tight budget. 

If you’re looking for strategies to help you pull through these challenging times, look no further. We have key priorities to help you balance the books, as well as some key statistics you need to know before your next budget meeting.

Ready to start? Let’s get going. 

HR's Role During Economic Uncertainty   

Your team members are undoubtedly your biggest expense, and HR plays a critical role in ensuring an organisation's success during economic uncertainty. The primary focus should always be the health and wellbeing of the team, employee development, and employee relations. However, HR professionals must also act as strategic partners to the business, optimising people operations to get the most out of the budget.

Key Priorities to Balance the Books  

Check out these five key HR strategies to get the most out of your work force and balance the books. 

  • Double Up

The quickest way to eat through your budget is to have individual HR systems for each task you need to complete. For example, separate payroll, task list, and time-off approval tools will deplete your kitty and leave your HR team overwhelmed with administrative tasks. 

Instead, consider investing in integrated HR software that combines payroll, time-off management, performance evaluations, and other essential HR functions into one streamlined platform. This not only saves time and reduces errors but also allows HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives rather than getting bogged down by administrative work.

Check out Plumm which offers a full tool belt of HR management features with the added bonus of AI enabled mental health tools. There’s no need for a separate mental health provider with Plumm. Learn more here.

  • Focus On What You Have

It’s estimated that employee turnover can cost up to 33% of a team member’s salary, so you really need to focus on retaining your workforce during times of economic uncertainty. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing significant financial losses due to recruitment and training costs. Instead of fixating on your challenges or the changes you need to make, shift your focus to what you already have— your current team.

Try offering team building days, in-work training courses, and professional development opportunities to boost engagement and reduce turnover. You could also try peer-to-peer employee recognition, coffee mornings, lunch-and-learns, or other opportunities to progress in their career. These initiatives create a sense of belonging and loyalty among your employees and help them to thrive in their roles. Try these initiatives to maximise your recruitment investment and ensure a happy, productive team. 

  • Internal Succession and Talent Planning

Building on the above, internal succession and talent planning is much more cost effective than bringing in external hires. It is estimated that an external hire costs 18% more than promoting internally, meaning you'll save significantly by nurturing talent from within. 

Start by identifying high-potential team members and offer them training, mentoring, and development opportunities they need to take on more senior roles. If you have a role ready for them to step into, great! But it’s also important to pre-empt future needs and prepare your team to step into them. By investing in your current workforce and promoting from within, you not only save on recruitment costs but also boost morale and retention rates. 

Plus, internal promotions often lead to smoother transitions and faster productivity gains compared to external hires. Your team members already know the lay of the land, so it’s much quicker to bring them up to speed.

  • Focus on Wellbeing

Just as times are hard for the business, they’re also hard for team members. Economic uncertainty is incredibly stressful, with 72% of adults polled reporting that they feel stressed about money some of the time. A huge 22% report they feel extreme stress about money, highlighting the need to focus on wellbeing during these difficult times.

Your team does their best work when they’re calm, collected, and supported. Offering wellbeing initiatives like mental health support, coffee and cake mornings, in office yoga, or virtual meditation sessions can make a significant difference in helping employees manage stress and maintain their overall wellbeing. 

You could also provide practical support like access to financial planning workshops, or debt management programs that can help alleviate financial stress and help team members navigate personal challenges. 

  • Encourage Flexible Working

Flexible working is a great benefit to offer team members. It supports health and wellbeing, allows your team to spend more time with family, and boosts productivity by removing office distractions.

But, what if we told you there were also financial benefits to flexible working, for you and your team? Flexible working means your team don’t have to pay out for their commute, purchase lunch out, or attend ‘optional’ office happy hours. However, it’s also cheaper for you and your business.

When your team works flexibly, your business saves on utility bills, office supplies, maintenance, and in extreme circumstances, whole unit costs. If your team is completely happy working remotely, you may be able to forgo your office site altogether, saving you the rental cost of business units.

Of course, this isn’t a decision to take lightly. Don’t forgo your tenancy just for the sake of seeing through economic hardship. However, if your team works well remotely and there are no business implications to this shift, it could be a strategic move to consider.

Key Takeaways

  • HR can act as a key partner during times of economic uncertainty. We know how to get the most out of our budget and steady the ship until times are better. 
  • You should focus on streamlining operations, developing team member skills, and enhancing employee wellbeing. 
  • You need an all-in-one HR tool that can do the heavy lifting for you.

The Bottom Line on Navigating Economic Uncertainties

Navigating economic uncertainty is all about maximising your budget and supporting your team member’s well being. HR activities like succession planning, increasing retention, and upskilling team members are all great ways to support your business in uncertain times.

You should also focus on implementing all-in-one HR tools. Individual HR systems will quickly eat into your budget, reduce operational efficiency, and create unnecessary complexities in managing various HR functions. By consolidating your HR processes into a single integrated platform, you can streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity. 

Plumm is the HR system you need. With tools to help you train, manage, and distribute important documents, Plumm is your all-in-one HR solution. Plus, with AI supported mental health tools, your team is in the very best hands.

Sign up for your free trial today!