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Preparing for a recession

23rd September 2022 |

With talk of recession looming on the horizon, as a business owner it can be easy to feel out of control.

Understandably many concerns will be financial, whether that be how your bills may be affected by the surging cost of living or considering if you’ll need to raise salaries.

The reality is that fluctuation is a normal part of any business, there will always be elements outside of your control. But it's how you handle what you can control, that will make all the difference in the long run.

Knowledge is power

No matter what your financial concerns may be, the most important aspect is to ensure that you are fully aware of every aspect of your business. Take time to review processes and ensure that there aren’t any blind spots in your knowledge. Having a solid grasp of the ins and outs of your cashflow will not only give you a better understanding of which elements might be most vulnerable to fluctuations but will also give you an invaluable sense of control.

We all know what it’s like when you receive a weighty bill but instead of facing it, we tuck it away in a drawer. But burying heads in the sand won’t make it go away, it’s far better to face any issues head on. Plus, the earlier you can anticipate any potential issues the more solutions will be available to you.

Communicate with honesty

As an employer it can be difficult to gauge how to communicate to your staff during periods of uncertainty and it is tempting to gloss over any challenges. After all, the last thing you would want to do is add any necessary concern to their already full plate. But there is a fine line, your employees are perceptive – they’ll recognise if you are saying that everything is okay when it isn’t.

Be transparent about potential difficulties and make it clear how people can give feedback. It's all about building an atmosphere of trust – ensuring that your workforce understand the reasons behind the decisions senior management are making, will go a long way to instilling confidence in your leadership.

Help staff where you can

Your employees have always been your most important asset, and during this period, their wellbeing should remain paramount in your planning. Those organisations who are able to continue hiring, should. Investing in your talent pipeline now will ensure that your growth isn’t stifled. But staff retention is just as crucial, it can cost at least 6 – 9 months of a persons salary to replace them, not to mention the damage to staff morale.

Ensuring that your employees feel valued and listen to, needs to be your top priority. Part of this will be ensuring they are paid a fair wage, but there other less expensive options available too.

Employee Assistance Programs are one option, but smaller financial support such as offering to help with fuel costs or providing monthly food vouchers are also invaluable. Invest in your pastoral care too – offer staff access to a financial advisor, signpost to financial guidance on your intranet or ramp up your mental wellbeing support.

Whilst none of these will rival a pay rise, they will help to take the edge off for concerned staff at a time where every penny counts. But more importantly, even token gestures will help to demonstrate that you care and value them as individuals, not just money makers.

If you are interested in finding a new role and would like some expert advice, please get in touch with us today.

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