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Building Talent in time of Lay Offs
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Lay-offs! This dreaded word seems to haunt employees day in and day out when the onslaught of the global recession is on. Cost cutting and lay-offs are the buzzwords that have caught the imagination of CEOs and HR Heads everywhere in the quest to remain competitive, profitable and relevant in a fast changing and highly turbulent economic and corporate landscape. Pink slips are being handed out like confetti and it is quite expected and understandable that employees are running scared, just looking over their shoulder wondering when a pick slip could be heading their way.

Human resources are the real talent that keeps your company going and the raison d'être for corporate endeavor. After all, profitability, productivity and the like are quite meaningless for the long run if your employee morale is low and sub optimal. One of the best ways to ensure that your employees are engaged during a downturn is to undertake a communication exercise to reach out to them, reassure them and demonstrate by your actions that you are a fair and caring employer. Be careful to build talent base by ensuring that knee jerk reactions like mass retrenchment and lay-offs are avoided. After all, every recession also ends and you need to be prepared for the turn of the tide when it occurs finally. If you are hasty and do not take care to retain talent, you may be compromising the long-term sustainability and growth of the company. Employees are quick to pick up cues from the culture as to whether you are worth sticking through the downturn with it and this is a fact that one needs to be aware of.

A downturn is a good time to have a look at revamping organizational strategies and also the skill and competency gaps that make achievement of these goals an uphill task. When people are relatively free, one can organize training camps, skills based programs as well as leadership based learning and development events. This helps in ‘sharpening the saw’ as well as sends a powerful message that the company would invest in employees that are seeing as linked to the future progress of the company. One must be clear though, in making a distinction between performers who constitute the talent base of the company and others who are just mediocre.

Identifying and retaining talent is the key to success in these times of financial turmoil. Your best employees are the ones who will help you out of the morass we find ourselves in and you must go all out to build this talent during the time of lay-offs.


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