In the popular press, it is all doom and gloom for the global economy. Yet recessions and depressions have come and gone before. This month we focus on those research articles and news items that instruct us how to manage L& through the downturn, and emerge as an leaner, more efficient organisation in the next upturn. All work is that of the authors, and I have provided links to the original articles.
Rise to the challenge - rethinking your L&D strategy for the economic downturn
Nigel Paine, former head of training and development at the BBC, offers his New Year advice to L&D. He says that “This is a time to look hard at what skills and attitudes will get everyone through the next year or so”. Here are some snippets of advice:
- Don’t panic! - this is a time to align, plan and look closely at what delivers real value back to the organisation.
- Know when the game is up - There are times when the learning function will not get a look in.
- Innovate – Everyone is looking for creative and innovative solutions.
- Get faster! – This is a time to accelerate.
- Go online – Cut the time of learning
The key message is realign and re-position, use the opportunity wisely and you will help your workplace re-emerge stronger, leaner and fitter.
Coaching outlook for 2009: under pressure - coaching will evolve and will become a way of helping organisations cope with turbulence
Is coaching likely to withstand the current economic downturn, or will coaching programmes get the budget chop? Professor of coaching and mentoring at Sheffield Hallam University Bob Garvey believes that “Coaching will evolve, and will become a way of helping organisations cope with turbulence”. Coaching in its current form will change, and overall the use of coaching will probably expand, since coaching is strongly linked to organisational change.
Is talent the silver lining for companies fighting recession - CIPD) has found that, despite the downturn, fighting to keep their top talent remains a priority for most organisations
A new report from the CIPD shows that contrary to popular thought, organisations have not changed their practices towards talent management in the downturn. Only 26% reported a change, and the vast majority continue to see talent management as a key survival strategy to differentiate themselves from competitors, and more importantly to benefit from the eventual upturn.
Some interesting stats are that “Many organisations are also responding to the downturn by adopting positive talent management practices: 55% are developing more in-house talent, 45% are focusing on essential development, 43% are continuing to recruit key talent and 35% are increasing their focus on employee retention.”
CIPD Guide - How to manage your workforce in a recession
The CIPD together with Acas have published a guidance note entitled “How to manage your workforce in a recession”. It is aimed at employers, and employees. The guidance note is very concise, and focuses on the following themes:
- Think long term - Think creatively about how to reduce employment costs, such as new ways of working and work reorganisation.
- Maintain employee engagement - Think about creative ways of motivating employees such as recognition schemes, team-building days and employee awards.
- Strengthen line management capability - Recognise the vital role that line managers play in every aspect of the employment relationship.
- Support employees’ health and well-being - Recognise the psychological burden and impact that can arise in a recession.
- Minimise redundancies - Think about ways to minimise redundancies if workforce reductions are inevitable.
- Consult - With your workforce and employee representatives.
- Establish fair and objective selection criteria - That will help you to retain key people.
- Help -Redundant employees to find other work.
- Plan for the future – Implement change management and training programmes to support remaining employees.
Economic Survival Guide – ASTD
The ASTD has published an Action Plan entitled “Finding Efficiency and Effectiveness With Slimmer Resources”. Aimed at L&D professionals, this guide offers some practical advice for managing L&D efforts in difficult times. The guide offers advice under the following headings:
- Communicate — up and down — and mobilize employees to create a learning culture within your organsation.
- Review budgets for efficiencies – working creatively with your budget.
- Use technology-based learning applications
- Maximize the talent in your learning department
- Ensure that all learning programs have strategic links to business goals