What can we do to help our employees through their own economic hardships?

I saw a question online about this very subject but the question was closed before I could respond so I thought I would post it here:

I think perhaps the biggest impact you can make (outside of the obvious which would include providing employees with financial planning and budgeting lunch and learn sessions) is  dealing with the employee’s fear over their own job security. Employers need to communicate, communicate and communicate again to uneasy employees about the company’s position in these difficult times.  I would recommend quarterly (or even monthly depending on the industry) town hall meetings where the President/Owner discusses items such as:

  1. What has been the impact of the economy on the company so far? What will the future potentially bring?
  2. Is the company stable?  If so , re-assure employees of their job security.  If not, be honest with your employees about the possibility of job cuts or temporary layoffs – it is much better for an employee to prepare emotionally and financially for a job loss than to blindside an employee with a termination.
  3. Finally, ask employees for cost cutting or revenue generating suggestions. It is much easier to cut the holiday party or cancel the sales meeting in Hawaii when it was the suggestion of an employee or department.  It also alleviates the employee’s feeling of helplessness and lack of control – a good employee will be more than happy to actively participate in cost cutting initiatives if they truly believe they may be contributing to saving their job.

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