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Weather the Storm: How Investing in Your Staff Can Help Recession-Proof Your Company

There are lots of rumblings these days about the cost of living, interest rates and the instability of what the future looks like for business.

From my own experience within business, and working in the development field – is that one of the first lines to get deleted from the P&L during economic downturn is training and development.

We can’t afford training.

What if we have to let go of staff, and we’ve invested all this money in them and they leave.

Let’s just hold on tight until the smoke clears.

I live with a mantra of you can’t afford not to train. What happens if you weather the storm and you come out the other side with poorly trained, unengaged, demotivated staff. Where does that leave you?

Why should we keep spending?

There are several reasons why it is important to keep training and developing staff during times of downturn or recession – here are the four key ones in my book:

  1. One reason is that investing in employee training and development can lead to increased productivity and efficiency, which can help a company remain competitive during difficult economic times.

  2. Providing training and development opportunities can help to improve employee morale and engagement, which can lead to improved retention rates and lower turnover - meaning less recruitment and onboarding costs!

  3. Ongoing training and development can also help to attract new talent and enhance the overall reputation of the company.

  4. Investing in the professional development of employees can also help to position the company for future growth and success, this is by ensuring that the company has a skilled and adaptable workforce that is able to adapt to changing market conditions.

The biggest concern is - sure save that money now... but I will tell you, becuase of that decision, finding that money down the track is going to be exponentially harder! This is because:

  • Those unmotivated staff, are less capable and engaged to do their job and that has an incremental effect on your bottom line.

  • You become less competitive in the market, as other companies that are investing in their staff may be better positioned to take advantage of new opportunities and adapting environmental changes.

  • You will then lose the reputation of being a ‘good employer’, you in turn might find it hard to retain your top talent, as employees may seek out opportunities for growth and development elsewhere. This can lead to high turnover rates, which can be costly for the company in terms of recruiting and training new employees.

  • Most of all – you miss out on the benefits that come from having a diverse and skilled workforce that is prepared for future growth or unexpected events.

My opinion on people saying training and development is a non-essential line item in your budget… is the same as people using the term ‘soft-skills’....

It grinds my gears... it's lazy and it's short sighted.

These are all essential to human development.

An essential investment in any company’s future.

If you haven't supported and grown a team who is dedicated and motivated to go above and beyond, and genuinely wants to achieve your company's financial goals – you’ll be pushing the proverbial shit uphill… Maybe show your CFO this, next budgeting round when they decide to reduce the spend....

We hope you find these tips helpful and would love to hear about your experiences continuing to invest in your people through economic downturns.

At Blue Mercury, we support people to have effective, vulnerable, honest communication. Whether at work or at home. If you are interested in making the most of training and development - Check out some details here or contact us for more information!


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