HR in Turbulent Times
If you have not noticed we are in turbulent times. Do you ever feel like sometimes chaos follows you everywhere you go? We’ve all been there, but in the world of human resources and administration, chaos can escalate quickly (and often). Like most HR leaders, this isn’t our first rodeo at Corban OneSource and because of our nearly quarter century of experience, we have developed the ability to not only welcome the chaos as our Monday’s With Maddie comic suggests, but more importantly, help our clients manage it. Take for example the chaos that the economy brought during the last recession starting in 2007. Chaos gives us the chance to take away lessons and apply them to future issues. PLEASE keep in mind. we’re not running down into our basements or on the web buying doomsday bomb shelters, but hopefully doing the wise thing and applying what we have learned in the past to our current and future business decisions.
Ultimately, Corban OneSource is about helping our clients succeed and part of that is applying lessons learned (sometimes referred to as best practices) to help avoid the chaos that can happen in human resources in a downturn economy. Our variable cost model worked flawlessly in the 2007-2009 recession and helping our clients control costs without sacrificing service to their employees was our paramount focus. Aligning your future strategy is a combination of analyzing current events with lessons learned in the past. In order to create HR strategies that will allow you to continue to prosper, you may want to consider analyzing the temperature of the current economy with all the necessary economic indicators over the next 6 to 18 months. We always remain positive at Corban OneSource and there are plenty of key economic indicators such as unemployment rates being low, businesses continue to grow and companies reinvesting in their people that are showing no signs of slowing. I would like to reiterate that we are not trying to be “Debbie Downer” from “Saturday Night Live” but merely suggesting what one of my favorite authors and speakers Zig Ziglar use to always say; “every so often it is good to do a check-up from the neck-up.”
Managing HR in turbulent times has proven to be quite the challenge no matter how much experience you have. Every HR Leader knows that a Reduction In Force is not an easy thing to do, nor an easy thing for employees to accept. Let us not forget that employee discrimination lawsuits rose 15% during the 2007-2009 economic recession. One of the many things HR departments learned out of necessity from the last economic downturn was how to become nimble and that lesson is one that should never be forgotten. We all know HR must where many hats from being a mentor, coach, planner, cheerleader, grief counselor and mediator all in one. Respected HR executives have told of their lessons from the chaos of the 2007-2009 recession and according to these executives, one of the most important lessons was maintaining an open line of communication. One of the many lessons learned from Brad Holliday, PHR, CBM, MBA, Vice President of HR at Schaller Anderson Inc. was, “We increased frequency of town hall meetings and other forms of communication from senior leadership to all employees (and vice versa) in order to increase transparency and deepen trust/engagement.” We all know that communication is key in any economy and it is always best to stick with my Grandmother’s advice and that is to “fix the roof when the sun is shining.” There is no better time than the present to make sure your communications line are open and working well.
We know that businesses will be able to navigate the HR waters in turbulent times regardless of how high the economic waves get and we remain positive that market growth will continue. Our clients continue to grow and we are helping them with their global expansion into other countries like the UK, China, Mexico, Canada and others. We think it is OK to be excited and prudent at the same time regarding the future and we remain focused on the excited part as there are a lot of things pointing in that direction.
The Boy Scout motto is “be prepared.” That is something we can all do in turbulent times. There are a lot of exciting and positive things on the horizon for many businesses and Corban OneSource remains bullish on the economy and the opportunities that continue to present themselves.
Corban OneSource is a Mid-Market Human Resource Outsourcer or HRO for companies of 75 to 6,000 employees. Are you looking to outsource the core HR functions of Payroll, Benefits Administration and HR Support? Find out more here.