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COVID-19: Preparing for a Reduction in Your Workforce

Instructor Brenda Neckvatal
Webinar ID 30025
Duration 90 Minutes  

Webinar Price Details


The circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are continuing to develop hourly (let alone daily), and with the rapid-fire nature of modern media and social media channels, details vary from broadcast to broadcast, leaving many in the workforce in confusion and fear.

Most are confused about the next steps they should take, either paralysed by fear, worried about their future or in the shock and denial phase of the crisis.

Having a plan is the best course of action for any business, however for many, especially those who have not implemented crisis management plans in the past, we are entering new territory.

The pandemic is creating a constantly changing national condition which has employers feeling the pressure and unfortunately due to the overload of news and information (often contradicting itself) leaders are running the risk of being ambitious in their communication and actions with employees.

Ambiguity leads to confusion and creates more uncertainty and fear. This is something we all need to avoid.

Thankfully, there are steps employers can take to prepare their workforce, encourage certain behaviors and manage the business environment effectively, so employees can continue to remain engaged and reduce the risk of panic and concern.

These steps are the basis of crisis management and often seem commonsense, however, in a crisis it is more difficult to remain calm and think or behave in a considered way.

It is vital for HR professionals that reasonable practices are established and followed, plans put in place and implemented, and most importantly, any action taken has been thoroughly understood, investigated, checked and measured in order to avoid longer term damage to the business.

Every day the boundaries and goal-posts are moving, so it is vitally important that leaders in industry, business and human resources are kept as up to date as possible to avoid generating fear, adding to the confusion or creating workplace dysfunction. We need to know all we can in order to adapt, innovate and implement new ways of operating during a crisis.

This is why clear communication, accurate information and considered action are required.

Why should you Attend

If you are in a leadership position, experienced in HR or new to the Human Resources field, have employees or have a concern about how you will manage your people through crisis, or are a small business owner without a dedicated HR person on staff who's knowledgeable and/or educated in the field of human resources. this presentation will help you to:

  • Understand due diligence and where the risks are and how to avert them
  • Discussing options, appraisals and criteria for a selection processes or strategy for a reduction in your workforce
  • Review your communication and methodology for implementing a reduced workforce to ensure you have a sustainable plan in place for this crisis and the future
  • Understand the issues around laying off full time and part time employees, requesting staff to take time off or reducing their work hours
  • Considerations when establishing a hiring or wage freeze or reducing wages
  • Assist you to understand the ramifications of shutdowns or work furloughs
  • Manage a reduced workforce process including documenting valid reasons for the reduction and what you need to ensure is completed before you take action
  • Understand compliance and the periods required for warnings of closures, layoffs or reduction in wages or hours
  • Clarity on your responsibilities, agreements and employment contracts before you implement reductions and serverences
Managing HR is about mitigating risk, reducing conflict and pre-empting issues. The trouble right now is that there is an overwhelming amount of information, and conflicting directives from multiple sources. Because Brenda is monitoring the situation constantly and can apply her years of experience to the scenarios playing out, this presentation is vital for you to stay ahead of the changes and to ensure your workplace is proactively managing expectations, communication and function.

As a result of the training you will be better equipped to make decisions regarding the reduction of your workforce, and be able to lead, or assist leaders in the business, and to prepare the business for ongoing change.

Areas Covered in the Session

  • Learn from up-to-the-moment issues and concerns which are affecting the workplace during crisis
  • Understand the impact of crisis on workforces and how to proactively manage a reduction process
  • Work through the precautions employers and managers can take to mitigate employee stress and avoid potential legal action due to poorly executed workforce reduction
  • Learn how to effectively and clearly communicate the issues surrounding the crisis with employees through company-wide communication channels and trained managers
  • Discover how to avoid the risks of miscommunication, hasty decisions made from ambiguity, and the spread of fear
  • How to manage both Exempt and Non-exempt employees when reducing the workforce
  • Outlining a recall and rehire process and strategy for the future to ensure clear communication and expectation
  • Have your specific questions answered regarding reducing your workforce plus more action steps and tips

Who Will Benefit

  • Business Owners and operators who employ under 500 Employees
  • Novice
  • Experienced HR Generalists
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Payroll Staff
  • Small business Administrative Assistants

Speaker Profile

Brenda Neckvatal is an international award-winning HR professional and two time Best Selling Author. Not only does she help business leaders get the people side of their business right, she is a specialist in crisis management, government contracting HR compliance, and mentor to rising entrepreneurs, business leaders, HR champions and professionals. Brenda has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Inc, as well as US News and World Reports. She started as an HR sprout after a solid fourteen-year career in retail management. She really enjoys helping people solve their unique problems, and human resources offered her the ability to support her co-workers more. Having the benefit of working for six Fortune 500 companies, she converted her experience into advising her audience to use tried and trusted best practices that help small businesses achieve their workforce goals. In her combined 30-year career in human resources and business, she has consulted with over 500 small businesses and C-suite leaders. She has optimized employee effectiveness and helped mitigate the high costs associated with making hasty employment-related decisions. She has been involved with employee situations where they have engaged in workplace violence, a near stabbing, deliberately inciting fear in other coworkers, stalking women, breaches of protocol around national security, assault, suicide, death, homicide, and a potential active shooter. Brenda is a devoted volunteer in the Navy SEAL Community and is constantly finding new ways of supporting veterans of Naval Special Warfare. She dedicates 32 weeks a year to working with The Honor Foundation to support the career transition of Special Forces personnel by providing them with her knowledge, insight, and creativity. Perseverance, integrity, and relentless optimism are just a few of the ingredients that make up what you experience when meeting and working with Brenda.