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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at jasonblais.com. I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Jan 30, 2009

RFL: Guest Author Margaret Hansen - Reducing Anxiety!

Another great read from guest poster, and RecruitingReview author for JobsInTheUS, Margaret Hansen! This is a reprint from the January 29 RecruitingReview:

How To Reduce Employee Anxiety In A Downward Economy

By Margaret Hansen, JobsInME.com

photo

Calming The Storm

With nearly 3 million jobs lost in 2008 and more to come, a new bag of management tricks is needed in today's workplace to calm the storm.

According to the American Psychological Association, today's employees face obstacles that increase stress and bog down productivity, including:

  • Shifting to unfamiliar tasks within their companies
  • The uncertainty of how much longer they will be employed
  • New bosses
  • Computer surveillance of production
  • Fewer health and retirement benefits
  • The feeling they have to work longer and harder just to maintain their current economic status

Tension and uncertainty are affecting workers at all levels, and most are updating their resumes.

Whether these conditions are real or perceived in your workplace, there are some ways you can change your work environment to keep stress at bay and improve productivity in a recession.

Keep lines of communication open with your staff

Know what's bugging them on the job and take steps to remove those roadblocks and other stressors.

Create written job descriptions for every employee

A specific, written job description creates clear, agreed-upon expectations and provides a sense of pride and respect in one's work. Reviews and raises should be tied to this.

Provide self-help opportunities

According to Forbes magazine, forecasts predict that the self-help industry will experience a 6.2% annual growth rate through 2012. Why? They offer hope. Securing a few dollars to provide financial counseling, career counseling, ways to budget, or weight loss strategies can offer solutions that reduce stress. If your budget is dry, try seeking out volunteers within the company who'll offer helpful sessions to your team.

Use empathetic responses when talking about problems

Just a few words of empathy can take the pressure off of someone whose spouse has been laid off, or who is going through a financial crisis.

Encourage staff to use their vacation time

According to Mel Borins, M.D. and author of Go Away Just for the Health of It, taking a vacation can improve physical ailments and, in turn, improve self-motivation, job interest and job efficiency while lowering absenteeism.

Recruit for keeps

Effective recruiting and retention means ensuring employees are the right "fit" for the job and the work environment. Job hunting can be stressful, particularly in times of high unemployment, but being ground down day after day by work is far worse, says Lyle H. Miller, Ph.D. and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D., authors of The Stress Solution.

Make sure you don't have any square pegs in round holes on staff. Hiring superstars may seem like a good idea in a downward economy, but retaining them on the way up may prove to be more difficult than originally thought.

Deal with Trauma

Post-layoff workplaces are vulnerable to more stress. Be sure to give those remaining time to grieve and digest the news, perhaps in an off-site meeting/luncheon to come together for support and some time off.

Remember, everyone in your organization will go through the same stages of loss, but since management will undoubtedly know about disruptive events in advance, they may be beyond denial, and anger before the news hits the floor.

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