Maintaining Productivity During Hiring Freezes

Many recent reports forecast that economic growth will remain slow over the next year. Naturally, this impacts recruitment insofar as slow economic growth = slow business growth. And while slow growth is certainly better than no growth, many companies that faced hiring freezes in 2012 may still experience them in 2013.

But the news isn’t all bad.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to find ways of increasing current employee productivity levels during a hiring freeze, which in turn drives new business growth in spite of limited resources. For many companies it’s simply a matter of learning to do more with less and adopting a few key principles.

Reduce panic

When a partial or complete hiring freeze is announced, many employees will begin to feel uneasy. They’ll wonder if the company is in financial trouble or if their job is in danger. And this kind of uncertainty leads to gossip, reduced morale and increased distraction. Try to break the news to your team in the most thorough way possible. Explain the extent of the situation and provide reassurance when necessary. Since it’s difficult to anticipate what each employee’s concerns will be, you may want to engage them on various levels (group meetings, one-on-one meetings, or privately via email). Addressing the situation head-on and making yourself available to your employees is the single most important step in preserving productivity levels during a hiring freeze.

Stay united

Once your organization understands how the hiring freeze will affect them, now it’s time to regain your focus. Articulating a shared vision for your team in spite of the freeze will boost morale and give everyone a goal to work towards. Moreover, the end of a hiring freeze is often linked to the company meeting certain revenue goals. By giving your company a common goal—and clearly communicating the benefits of meeting this goal—you’ll give them a sense of purpose and motivation to succeed.

Exemplify strong leadership

Your employees will look to you during a hiring freeze for advice, as well as for examples of how they should rearrange their workload. If your management teams are noticeably working harder, it will undoubtedly inspire others to do the same.

For additional information about how to keep productivity levels high during your organization’s hiring freeze, contact Employment Professionals Canada. We’d be happy to consult with you and your team.