How to Prepare Employees For Recession Management

During economic struggle, employees may worry about job security and become burnt out. Here’s how you can prepare them for the changes ahead.

In tough times filled with economic uncertainty, businesses must be proactive in preparing their employees. This guide will cover exactly what you should be doing as an employer or manager to prepare your workforce for a potential recession and ensure your company is also prepared.

Why create an employee recession strategy?

Difficult economic times can affect a company of any size. Whether you’re in tech, a startup, a long-established company, or a local retail business, you and your employees will feel the pinch.

An employee recession strategy can improve your business’s preparedness for an upcoming economic downturn. It’s possible that your business still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels of financial security and revenue, so learning to adapt for future difficult times is essential.

Image sourced from Gitnux

A recession management strategy helps your employees, too. You may be a law firm trying to prevent big law burnout or a small financial services company hoping to retain your employees. Either way, economic recessions can add to employee stress, push them towards burnout and anxiety, and even encourage them to quit. While you will feel a personal need to ensure the well-being of your staff, there’s a professional need, too. Burnt-out or anxious employees maybe less productive and might decide to leave your workforce.

Preparing your workforce for a recession: 6 steps

1.     Provide financial training

One of the best ways you can prepare your employees on both a personal and professional level for a recession is financial training. This might include financial literacy programs to help employees better understand personal finance, budgeting, and saving strategies. Equipping employees with essential money management skills can empower them to make informed decisions during challenging times.

Financial training can extend to employee recession training too. You can even upskill staff that are not directly involved in your company’s finances to make decisions based on financial security. For example, training staff to use financial software or operational risk management tools will ensure they are equally prepared for the future.

2.     Reward success

A recession can create stress, anxiety, and even burnout, leading to less productive staff members who may even “quiet quit.” Amidst economic uncertainty, recognizing and rewarding employee contributions is vital for morale. Even small gestures of appreciation can go a long way in maintaining a positive work culture during a recession.

To ensure you consistently reward success, consider implementing a structured recognition program that acknowledges outstanding work and achievements to help boost employee engagement and loyalty.

An employee of the month program or a weekly celebration of an individual’s accomplishments can go a long way to improve team morale. It’s also something that can be effective across all industries. So whether you want to motivate restaurant employees or recognize the achievements of your call center team, think carefully about ways to reward their success.

3.     Upskill your employees

Training doesn’t need to end after onboarding a new employee. Instead, create an environment of continuous learning so employees can learn new skills. This can boost employee satisfaction and create more well-rounded employees who are prepared for the future, whatever it holds.

Image sourced from Salesforce

You can build upskilling opportunities into your company’s training programs. You can train your staff to have better digital literacy, learn new skills such as social media marketing or a new language, or put them into leadership programs. Upskilling will lead to a more productive workforce that can adapt quickly if a difficult economic climate requires it.

1.     Cross-train your staff

Difficult economic times mean many companies may see lower job security and company-wide restructuring plans. If larger companies are forced to shrink, employees may need to start taking on new tasks or even an entirely new role.

By cross-training your staff, you can ensure they are trained and versatile enough to take on new tasks and roles should they be required, an essential part of any employee recession strategy. This can be as small as training your staff on how to fax a PDF to ensure that all staff understand any essential internal systems you rely on.

2.     Offer wellness support and resources

Acknowledging the impact of a recession on employees’ mental and physical health is vital. As an employer, you should provide emotional support and physical wellness resources.

This might include offering access to counseling services or establishing support groups where employees can share their concerns and receive guidance. You could set these up using a business SMS texting service so employees can easily reach out for support if they’re in the office, working from home, or on the road.

Image sourced from Statista

Percentage of U.S. employees who agreed with select statements about well-being programs offered by their employer from 2019 to 2021

In addition to meeting employees’ emotional needs, you might consider setting up a corporate wellness program. These can take many different shapes, so consider what physical and mental health difficulties your employees may be facing as a result of increased financial strain and tailor your program accordingly.

1.     Prioritize open and transparent communication

Employees value open and transparent communication, especially during financial recessions. Employees may be worried about their job security or may be getting questions from customers about the company’s financial health. It’s essential that your staff are up-to-date on your company’s financial matters, so be sure to provide regular updates.

You should create an environment that encourages staff to ask questions and voice their concerns. Putting technology into place that allows for secure, easy communication across teams, such as online messaging platforms or a call forwarding service for small businesses can also help improve company-wide communications.

Create a resilient workforce

By following these steps, you can prepare your company and your employees for any recession or economic downturn that might hit. Creating a resilient and engaged workforce that is equipped with financial knowledge, adaptable skills, and a supportive environment will enable your business to navigate the challenges of an economic downturn successfully.

The key to these steps is creating a work environment in which employees feel cared for and empowered. You can try to create this personally, but by following the steps above, you can ensure that recession management is built into your company’s everyday operations.

Rachel Weinberg
Rachel Weinberg, Content Marketing Manager Rachel is an experienced marketing professional, content strategist, writer, and editor. She has experience developing and writing cross-channel content for both B2B and B2C audiences. She is enthusiastic about using her content marketing expertise to help brands tell their stories, and she also has a deep passion for theater criticism. Here is her LinkedIn.