A HR Manager is essentially an employee manager whose primary function is to keep employees informed, motivated, engaged and also involved in business concerns. There is no better opportunity for a Human Resource Manager to showcase his ability when the chips are down. It is downturn, meltdown and an economic recession all over. In this kind of scenario, the employees on rolls are perplexed, confused and lack direction on their role in an organization. These are not taught at any Business Schools curriculum but a HR Head faced by these challenges and compulsions has to take concrete steps.

  • Besides taking hard decisions on routine and regular matters, the HR also has the task of familiarizing staff with the changed dynamics of the market.

  • Frugality is the buzzword. The culture of frugality has to be percolated down the line at all levels. In other words, HR needs to engage all employees to drive the culture of frugality across the organization.

  • Under the existing conditions, the HR necessarily has to play a strategic role in employee communication and talent management.

  • It is vital and important for the department of HR to share the company's plans with employees and get their feed back.

  • Every organization has to adopt cost cutting measures with cost cutting measures operational efficiency has to be ensured amongst all levels.

  • There is a huge pay-off from talking with and listening to employees. By talking and listening to them the workforce feel that they are wanted and it helps instill faith and motivates them largely.

  • A slowing global economy is clearly posing unique challenges and the key skill in these times of an HR is being able to steer clear of ambiguity, if the HR does not present things clearly, it creates nervousness and uncertainty amongst employees.

  • Though communication is important at all times, during a crisis it assumes higher significance given the unsettling impact of uncertainties on everybody-employees, customers and shareholders. The HR with the CEO has to open up new channels of communication, although it is very centralized with the corporate communication team playing a major role.

  • The HR has to ensure that the CEO's thoughts are understood, analyzed, interpreted and communicated to employees in such a way exactly the way the CEO would have communicated. It is not just enough communication but the nature of communication that matters.

  • Concern and credibility are more important than frequency and sophistication of communication. By communicating with the employees across locations and at other internal forums in the organization the HR offers reassurance to all its employees.

  • By communicating to the employees of the organization regularly they often bring out inefficiencies and wastages in an organization than top executives sitting in their palatial offices.

Experts feel that the HR who is connected to organizational personnel on a sustained basis is in a better position to deal with the vagaries of economies and markets, downturns and disasters. These roles are now carried over successfully by the Chief Executive Officer of various organizations. "A good leader engages all employees and helps them understand changes, the impact on its business and the decisions undertaken to deal with the new situation." By constantly communicating and understanding the pulse of the employees in the current environment and fine tuning communication, the HR will ultimately drive them to effectiveness. Approaching people issues with respect, dignity, concern for the livelihood of individuals and families and working out solutions shall pave unbelievable results. The approach of HR in hard times is more important for brand-building than people-friendly policies and practices in good times.


CEO say a downturn is a good time not only to make organizations efficient and hone good practices but also offers a chance to leaders to look at problems squarely in the eye and make the most of the worst. The said words of CEO have to be understood by the HR in such a way that they have to be translated into action. FOR AN HR THE DOWNTURN, ECONOMIC CRISIS OFFERS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MOST OF THE WORST.

About the Author

Presently, working with Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ballard Pier, Mumbai. Has a vast experience and expertise in the field of HR. Has been involved in writing in various magazines like Express Hospitality, Hospitalitybiz, Business Manager.