People management in times of crisis: 6 challenges

People management in times of crisis: 6 challenges

Table of Contents

People management is a strategic activity by nature and fundamental to the development of any business. It turns out that an economic crisis (internal or external) has the power of an earthquake, with earthquakes that affect all areas of the company. So it is important to know how to deal with people management in times of crisis if she approaches your company in the form of:

  • lack of focus;
  • fearful leadership;
  • centralized responsibilities;
  • normality in the routine;
  • lack of guidance and training;
  • unemployment.

If the economic crisis style=”font-weight: 400;”> it is already a reason to turn on the warning sign in people and inside companies, internal work must be multifaceted: just as financial health should not be neglected, nor should efforts to people management.

After all, uncertainties impact everyone and also the negative effects of the economic slowdown. Companies invoice less and the consumer goes less shopping. As a result, many fear unemployment – individual or collective, driven by companies that cannot stand the crisis.

Therefore, it is worth following with the reading of this post in which we will highlight how HR and management should work in alignment to promote management in times of crisis. in these periods of so many fears. Check out!

6 challenges of people management in times of crisis


Below, we will highlight some adverse situations that may arise in the face of an economic crisis. With that, there will be no lack of knowledge and strategic notions to deal with people management in times of crisis!

1. Lack of focus

It is intrinsic to human nature: when faced with a problem, we tend to focus on what is urgent, in this case, the economic crisis. However, at the same time, this priority focus begins to loosen up on other issues such as people management in times of crisis.

There, it is common for employees to feel unmotivated, disoriented and without purpose. And it is up to the company to be transparent and objective on the subject in order to avoid precisely that these doubts become indexes that HR keeps track of, such as low productivity, absenteeism and even layoffs.

For this reason, even though the focus is on cost reduction, resource retention and low revenue during the economic crisis, it is important to locate employees. Thus, they will feel that they are also “in the same boat” as the rest of the company to go through this difficult period.

At this point, it is also worth staying on top of the main trends to retain and motivate your talents. To learn more about the subject, take the time to check out our article that talks about the best people management techniques!

2. Fearful leadership

Whether due to lack of experience or skills to deal with the situation, it is common to observe that leaders make hasty or mistaken decisions regarding the management of people in times of crisis – in addition to having their well-being shaken.

Consequently, this can cause conflicts within the company, making the environment toxic to productivity and to a harmonious and collaborative climate.

Here, it is up to HR to properly work on training its leaders. Management in times of crisis, after all, includes all of its human resources, without exception.

And that means cutting them both to seek leadership alternatives to manage the economic crisis and also to guarantee the full functioning of the sector for which it responds.

3. Centralized responsibilities

This topic serves as a complement to what we talked about earlier. Centralizing responsibilities too much can turn the company into a closed environment and limited to growth.

Control is less necessary in managing people in times of crisis. In turn, the organization is much more relevant. Leaders who are able to delegate responsibilities keep the sector in order.

Employees can embrace new responsibilities and will be rewarded when the problem has passed.

Thus, good leaders share the recognition among all. Giving up blind control, he shows that everyone was instrumental in the company's growth during the economic crisis.

4. Normality in the routine

Ignoring the problem is never the best solution in managing people in times of crisis. In this situation, the entire market loses momentum.

Therefore, there is no point in charging the same goals, the same results and working with projections that did not foresee this retreat in the economic sector across the country.

For this reason, it is important to meet (either with each team or with everyone) and point out some measures so that the billing – even if it is lower, during this period – does not fall dramatically and the financial commitments of the company are maintained. Some ideas for this:

  • Expenditure cut. Is it possible to produce in less time and with less resources? Can sectors come together to consume less light and water? Is remote work possible? The best measures should be evaluated;
  • Product Promotions. Especially, those stopped in stock;
  • New strategies (and more accessible) dissemination, such as social networks.

This tends to reduce the fear of unemployment due to the financial crisis and shows that the company is open and transparent to the situation. And mainly, facing the problem, not ignoring it.

5. Lack of guidance and training

If, on the one hand, many companies tend to pretend that there is no problem in the face of an economic crisis, there are organizations that go into despair and neglect everything at once.

This includes, in most cases, the management of people in times of crisis.

Therefore, HR can meet during this period of uncertainty, and invest more in accessible business training that further qualifies employees.

In addition to motivating and engaging, these actions further qualify your workforce. It is worth noting, then, which areas and specializations can be worked on so that HR unites teams and strengthens human links even with an economic crisis knocking on the door.

6. Lack of work

After mapping and forecasting the impacts of the economic crisis, it is important to plan the coming months from different perspectives and projections. This then means that the work is not going to stop.

In turn, it will be redesigned so that employees take on a new productive capacity, occupy their time in a strategic and assertive manner and are able to organize themselves within the routine.

It is also important that there is total alignment on the subject. The people manager can always be available to guide, answer questions and assist in the best possible way, just as the HR sector has an active participation in the work of calming spirits and serving as a safe haven for everyone.

First management steps in times of crisis

As we have seen, there are some errors in the people management in times of crisis that occur, precisely, when an adverse and unforeseen situation calls the way.

Therefore, the union of the company is essential to ensure that everyone understands the seriousness of the situation and that, yes, there are alternatives to minimize the negative effect of an economic crisis or any other problem that afflicts the organization.

The first step then is to assess the weight of this crisis, how much it can shake the company and evaluate the company completely. Then, define the best strategies for all types of scenarios that can unfold in the short, medium and long term!

Help your employees work better

During the management challenges in contexts of economic crisis, financial management is another important part, especially in relation to the benefits offered to the team.

Get to know the tool HR Consultants UKy and learn how the system that implements the on-demand payment, that is, a company's employees can anticipate part of their wages when they need it.

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