Updated: Mar 15
As I write this blog, I have Sky News in one room and BBC 5 Live in the other. There's one thing on the agenda - Coronavirus. This morning I had a meeting with a worried client, who's business is struggling with the impact of Coronavirus already. Times are tough and it looks like the next three months will be even harder. They were considering redundancy as their only option. We helped them explore the alternatives to ease the financial pressure in the short term and remain a great place to work in the long term. There are things you can do instead, so consider the following before making a rash decision on headcount reductions:
Are short-term reductions in working hours an option? Over the last few years, this approach has been used by a number of companies to mitigate the potential impact of redundancy and preserve employment. Individuals have been offered part time hours as an alternative to redundancy. This approach has been adopted in the motor trade to good effect. It could be done in terms of shorter daily operating hours or offering a 4 day working week.
Consider Job Sharing. Job sharing arrangements allow multiple people to fill one job role. Its benefits include saving costs on payroll and encouraging training and teamwork.
Look into career breaks. Career breaks or sabbaticals are more popular than ever and employees at all levels, across all age ranges are increasingly exploring them. If you offer career breaks as an option, then your valued employees can take a break, with zero pay, and come back to work for you in 3, 6 or even 12 months time when the economic situation has changed. This will not only prove effective in reducing operating costs but could also enable a boost to employee engagement in the long term.
Explore temporary pay-freezes and potential pay reductions. This will be unpopular for many reasons but, as an employer, your main commitment should be to preserve employment for as many people as possible - reducing pay or stopping pay rises is a good way to manage costs and preserve employment for the majority.
We're passionate about working with businesses to enable them to manage their staff effectively in challenging times. We can help you too by exploring all the options and alternatives. We can help you do it right and in a way that wont impact your business negatively in the long term.