Employers are being urged to plan for the longer term during the economic downturn and to take an innovative approach to avoiding job cuts.
The advice has come from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which, in partnership with Acas, has just launched a guide on workforce management in a recession.
The CIPD said that calls to its helpline requesting information on redundancies doubled in January compared with a year ago.
Meanwhile Acas reported that 35 per cent of all calls it receives concern redundancies.
The guidance, entitled Managing in a Recession, emphasises the importance of taking a long-term view of employment policies and of keeping job losses to a minimum.
Other issues covered include good people management so that staff remain engaged and productive, and creating proper redundancy strategies so that job cuts, when they happen, can be handled sensitively and within the law.
Jackie Orme, the CIPD’s chief executive, said: “Managing people properly so that they are motivated and committed to the organisation has never been more important than it is now.
“Many employers are looking to their employees to develop new ways of working to cut costs and boost productivity, often in an environment where people have lost colleagues to redundancy. In these circumstances the extent to which employees are engaged and willing to go the extra mile for the organisation is critical.”
The guidance is available at http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/emplaw/redundancy/_hwmngwrfrcs.htm