With these slow times, many business owners find themselves in quite a predicament… 

“I need to cut cost” and “we do not have enough work to justify our current workforce so naturally, I should let some people go…”   

Here is where it gets tricky: many of these companies’ employee highly skilled workers with specialized training.  Some of these employees have also been trained at the company’s expense for certifications, etc.  Not to mention the fact that some of these skilled workers are actually good employees.  They are honest, show up on time, adhere to policies, etc. 

If a company lays-off these employees, what happens when that big contract comes in and you need to hire again?  Are you setting yourself up to have the same problem we all have in an economic upswing- attracting good people? 

So how can we hold on to our good people during these tough times?  Any thoughts? 

I will throw some out to start: 

  • Develop a relationship with a staffing company to allow your employee to work part time for other companies (project basis) but without the option of having those companies hire them.  Would require buy-in from the employee, of course. 
  • Find other tasks for those key employees to help with mission critical items like process improvement, contract review, etc. 
  • Fire a less important employee to free up funds to keep those hard to find employees.