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How to Maintain Productivity During a Temporary Hiring Freeze

March 1st, 2013

Forecasts for our country’s economy indicate sloth-like growth in 2013, with estimates of 1.4 percent for 2013. For recruiters, this poses a real challenge, because slower growth inevitably leads to layoffs and hiring freezes.  And for managers, an even bigger concern is how to keep up your output and productivity in a climate of fear and uncertainty.

It all starts with you.  As a manager or team leader or senior staff member, you have the eyes and ears of the rest of the staff on you.  The mood and morale of the group can be directly affected both positively and negatively by your actions and words.  So when your team freezes up and morale starts to sink for fear of losing jobs or at the very least not getting ahead in their career with your company, it is up to you to lead the way.  The team is looking at your level of commitment as a guide to what their own should be.  If you are committed to the goals of the company and it is obvious by your behavior, your team will pick up on that and follow suit.  However, if you are scared, and you show it, they will follow your lead there too, and you will end up taking everyone down with you.  Be positive and energized and lead your team to higher morale.

Give them the state of the union address.  Fear usually comes from ignorance.  If a hiring freeze is announced, no matter how short term it may be, workers immediately lose confidence in the company’s security and assume that layoffs cannot be far behind.   This in turn will bring morale crashing down and productivity will grind to a halt.  If layoffs are not around the corner, tell them so.  Do not let the rumor mill take the place of actual information.  Ask your team what their concerns are.  As soon as possible, have a team meeting to address their questions and discuss exactly what the hiring freeze means for your company, giving them insight as to why this is a good decision.  By being up front and forthcoming with facts and information, workers should be able to keep their faith in their leaders and will hopefully be able to focus on their goals.

Set new goals for the new climate.  A team can be defined as a group of individuals working together toward a common goal.  There is no better time than now to rally your team around some common goals that you will establish.  This renewed focus gives workers confidence and allows them to maintain and even increase their productivity if they feel they are making progress toward a goal.  Communicate what the new goals are, how you plan to achieve them, why they are important and what the rewards are for reaching them.  Now is the time for motivators and cheerleaders.  Celebrate all milestones, small and large, and keep your team focused and motivated with continuous feedback and updates.

If you are faced with a hiring dilemma, let the trained professionals at ERG Staffing Services guide you to a solution.  Contact us today and we will get you in touch with the right candidates to fill any light industrial or clerical staffing needs you have – the right people, right now.

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