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How to support your team in 2023 amid recession

Nicki Robson - Breedon Consulting

With experts warning that the UK is set to be in a recession until the end of 2024, many employees fear they will lose their jobs as businesses look to tighten their belts.

Global HR experts Remote recently surveyed thousands of employees, to discover how Britain’s workforce feel about the year ahead, which revealed 44% are concerned about job security.

Managing director of Breedon Consulting Nicki Robson said: “In 2022 we saw the great resignation, with one in four workers leaving their jobs, but now with much uncertainty and the recession looming we’re seeing quite the opposite.

“Employees are concerned about the economy, however there are several ways business owners can support their team this year.”

Focus on employee engagement
Investing in employee engagement can not only help to increase productivity and work quality, but also retain top talent. Nicki said: “Employee engagement is one of the most important factors of your business and is key to your overall success.

“Having a disengaged workforce can lead to high staff turnover, poor quality of work being produced and a breakdown in supplier or client relationships. Internal communication is key to improving employee engagement. Create an environment where your team want to be involved in their work, they’re enthusiastic about the company they work for, and they feel valued.”

Be flexible and adaptable
Being flexible to the needs of your employees can help to build trust between you and your team. For example, adopting a hybrid working policy to allow a few days working from home or flexitime, where employees adapt their working hours to finish earlier but still work the same contracted hours.

Nicki said: “For many candidates, flexible working is now considered an expectation. They are no longer purely driven by salary or company benefits, but instead they seek roles that don’t require them to be in the office five days a week.”

Create a positive work culture
With the move to hybrid and remote working, following the pandemic, businesses have had to make changes to their culture in order to stay connected to their team.

Nicki said: “The shift to home working gave companies a change to re-evaluate everything. Whether people are at home or in the office, it’s important they have a positive work environment. They must feel valued, engaged and inspired in order to be productive.”

Reassess your company benefits
The end of the year, or financial year, is a great time to reassess your company benefits and decide whether you want to enhance your offering or include additional ones to help retain your team.

“The most desirable company benefits include a good pension scheme, private medical or health insurance and wellbeing perks such as gym memberships, discounted spa visits and the option to take days off to support your mental health”, said Nicki.

Provide personal development opportunities
One of the best ways you can nurture and retain talent is by setting out personal development goals and opportunities for them. Start by asking them what they want to achieve, what part they’d like to play within the company and what their short-term and long-term ambitions are.

Nicki said: “By having a clear path to progression and development, employees are going to feel much more positive about working within the business. They will feel valued, and in return they will work hard to achieve those goals set out, with the hopes to gain a promotion or pay rise – which is key to making them feel secure, particularly with the recession looming.”

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