The crisis of confidence, which is probably the worst of the crisis generated after the wave of scandals that has affected major multinationals, accentuated by the threat of war against Iraq and the Middle East conflict, has been installed in the markets, unable to react even though the basic facts about the global economy are recovering.
In this situation, in which the executives we are quite far from being able to change the macroeconomic environment, we must avoid the temptation to justify our lack of creativity and adaptability to change, using the excuse of crisis and uncertainty about the future .
If we can not act on social and macro economic factors we must put all our efforts on the internal company factors, so that they allow us to seek and provide answers favorable to unfavorable environment in which we operate.
This challenge, which requires imaginative solutions, is a major challenge for executives in addition to trying to sort out the crisis, have a responsibility to manage in an efficient human resources in the enterprise.
Development Systems, a consultant specializing in the design and implementation of business strategies and human resources, has developed along with its European partners, a study to determine how HR strategies can be applied in times of crisis.
Participated in the study of 140 HR directors from Germany, Britain, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain.
80% of participating companies report that in these times of recession or worse have kept their results, but the rest, which coincides with the large ones, they reported improved results with the crisis. 20% of participating companies have more than 15,000 employees, 25% in 5000 to 14.999, 21% from 2000 to 4999 and 34% less than 1.999.
The sample is represented the following sectors: services (18%), Industrial (17%), financial (16%), Multiservice and Construction (14%), health care (13%), Technology and Telecommunications (8%), Consumption (7%) and Auto (7%).
The study concludes that the main challenges they face in times of crisis, Human Resources Directors are:
1.-The reduction of personnel costs, preferably without layoffs, coupled with restrictive negotiations on flexible contracts, working hours and business models.
2.-Reduction of administrative procedures without increased budgets, for example, gain support for industrial technology solutions (IT).
3.-staff reductions coupled with requirements to keep those employees whose performance is high and attract people with high potential in the company.
Reduced staff costs
In order to select appropriate measures to reduce personnel costs, the Directorates of Human Resources, discussed a series of key ratios, most commonly used, staff costs versus overhead costs (98%), costs per employee compared with costs staff (86%), indicators of sickness absence (85%) and overtime (80%).
It is important to note that not exist or are considered a lesser extent, figures on individual contributions per employee to the business, or performance indicators such as revenue per employee (30%) and suproductividad (28%).
It is surprising that only 35% taking into account the costs of recruitment. The importance given to the redundancy costs when analyzing the costs of staff, is 30% higher in Spain and France than in Germany.
The recommended measures to reduce personnel costs, if we consider the practice in all the countries represented are in this order: staff reductions, especially in Spain, redesign work schedules, use flexible contracts and act on remuneration policy. Although they are prioritized by order of importance given to different measures, it is surprising that when put into practice 75% of favoring flexible labor contracts, 53% by reducing the workforce, 50% by change the pay scheme and 34% to work on schedules.
With respect to the downsizing of 85% of businesses believe that best practices are negotiated and low redundancy programs, the use of outplacement is common in countries like Britain or Switzerland, but Spain is still very limited . 75% of the surveyed companies use early retirement as early as reduction of its workforce.
90% of the companies participating in the study states use flexible forms of employment such as contracts for work or part time. The stagnation of the process of hiring new employees, nearly 50% of the organizations that participated in the study, has also been one of the main measures of firms to try to overcome the economic crisis last year.
With regard to the remuneration policy has been chosen to freeze the salaries of employees (20%), lowest pay increases applied last year (20%). The wage increases have begun to associate the increase in individual performance, by about 30% of firms, the wage variable in times of crisis takes a star role.
You begin to attach importance to the remuneration to the letter as a means to retain talent.
The retention of those employees whose performance is high
One of the major challenges that companies have to face in times of crisis is the retention of persons whose detention is a key to organizational success.
There is therefore a major effort to identify key employees for what they are using the following tools: Measuring results targets (95%), performance evaluation (95%), measuring the potential (70%) The competency assessment (35%) and 360 º feedback (30%).
Examine the factors that affect retention of employees to identify the root causes of the problem and the needs and expectations of employees is vital.
Following this, nine out of ten organizations do exit interviews and about half had changed its retention strategy based on information obtained in this process.
The pursuit of better career opportunities mentioned by 76% of cases by causing employees voluntary severance, 71% of respondents refer to a better compensation packages, 52% lack of recognition and 46 % the difficulty in balancing personal and professional life.
To alleviate the above companies surveyed are taking the following steps:
“Better opportunities for career development: The company must demonstrate to the employee who has interest in his career and has the means to facilitate their development and careers.
Human Resources Directors who participated in the study, understand that designing and implementing career plans, opening up career opportunities to go to key employees as one of the main measures of retention, however only 50% have implemented this measure.
The existence of management training programs related to the different levels of career empowerment and to increase the employability of professionals is one other significant factors when it comes to retaining key employees.
The increased autonomy, empowerment and recognition are the main motivators of this group, for these reasons it is essential to the Supervisor role as a motivator, coaches and through feedback from its level of performance.
“The pay on demand: flexible starting pay to be understood as one of the most effective strategies to retain professionals without added cost to the company. It is necessary to resort to formulas pay on demand, in designing compensation plans that take into account the particular needs of each employee, we can not continue thinking that anything goes for everyone, it is necessary to resort to custom retributitos plans to attract and retain the talent even at the expense of smaller professional employability.
To design compensation plans to the letter is necessary to launch studies to see how this salary the market and know that is what truly satisfies pay levels for employees who want to retain.
Among the most used measures of retribution in kind are cars, pension plans and health insurance, life and accident. The stock option plans are also an important tool to attract and retain key personnel.
-Balance between personal and professional life: In these times, it is especially difficult to juggle work and life. 38% of executives recognize work over 55 hours a week, and over 40% takes work home. It is important that companies are aware that about 65% would rather have more free time at the expense of giving up a
salary increase. Flexitime and other flexible working conditions and work part-time, teleworking, job sharing, job sharing or flexible holidays are measures being implemented in most of the companies surveyed, with Spanish companies In this sense, far more inflexible. It seems that at this point we have much to do in Spain, as it is found that the best people are those who manage to properly reconcile work and personal life. Therefore the flexibility in employment not only benefits the employee, supports the medium to long term to the company, since what matters is not whether the presence and efficiency.
-To promote the emotional bond between the employee and the company: It is essential that any organization has clear goals and strategies for achieving them for everyone to commit to achieving them and paddle in the same direction. The communication must be clear and transparent especially in time of crisis to avoid generating distrust and uncertainty.
The organization must have effective channels of communication so as integration activities to create social bonds with the employee.