ABU DHABI // HR and recruitment specialists say thinking outside the box is essential to retaining employees.
Radhika Punshi, managing director of The Talent Enterprise, said organisations across the GCC were looking at innovative ways to manage the economic downturn, retain staff and keep them happy amid recruitment freezes, stagnant salaries and no bonuses.
“It is in times like this that one can separate the best from the rest in terms of how organisations engage and retain staff,” Ms Punshi said. “There are ways organisations can manage ... upturns and downturns in the business cycle in a more creative and sustainable manner, compared with focusing on salary cuts, redundancies and lay-offs only.”
She said many companies were using the financial uncertainty to revisit their business models and give employees a chance to move to other roles. “This can be very motivating for [those] who have felt stuck in the same job or role for many years,” Ms Punshi said.
Another effective technique some employers use to manage costs is to offer longer unpaid leave, especially to expats, to spend more time in their home countries and returning when business picks up again, she said.
“This is much more effective and motivating than simply letting go of existing employees and then having to expend significant resources to rehire when things pick up,” Ms Punshi said.
“Employers are also looking at flexible working arrangements, such as part-time work, to manage resources more effectively.
“For high potential employees, a few employers are working on introducing performance-based, long-term incentives, [such as] deferred bonuses.”