Five crucial questions employers must ask to ensure they can keep motivating their people

TRUMBULL, CT USA — August 19, 2020 — Both the USA and UK are officially in recession.  While both economies are expected to recover ‘on paper’, the outlook in the real economy is uncertain. 

Questionmark, the online assessment provider, is urging employers to ask five urgent questions to ensure the workforce is ‘recession ready’.  To hold on to the best people, and get the most out of everyone, employers will need to find new ways to motivate and help them develop.

Five crucial questions

  1. Which staff can be relied upon?  When businesses face an uncertain environment, it is vital that employers identify which staff have the skills to help steer a way through a crisis.
  2. What skills are needed to cope with change?  Every crisis is an opportunity to innovate.  What new skills must be embraced to plot a path to prosperity?  Do they exist in the current workforce?
  3. What training is needed?  Employers must be sure they know which staff need training, in what and whether it is working.
  4. Which staff must be retained?  When uncertainty is looming, it can be the best staff that choose to jump ship, which can be destabilizing for the entire workforce.  By identifying which team members must be kept, employers can invest in their development.
  5. Which staff have transferable skills?  There will be team members that employers do not want to lose, even if their role is surplus to requirement.  Which employees have transferable skills that could enable them to thrive in an alternative position?

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark said: “‘In uncertain times, employers must ensure they have the information to make good decisions about managing the workforce.  This is especially important as many firms may not have the usual incentives of pay and promotion to help motivate.  Instead, employers need to understand their people and help them develop the skills now that will serve them well in future.

“Which team members will be essential to maintaining productivity?  What skills are needed to adapt and where do they exist across teams and functions? 

“Assessing the skills, attitudes and aptitude of the workforce provides the data to make good people-decisions.  It can ensure the workforce is as prepared as possible for the next wave of change and disruption that is likely to accompany an economic downturn.”

To make effective people-decisions, employers must start with robust information about the workforce.  Testing and assessing the skills, attitudes and aptitude of the workforce can reveal which workers are prepared for the challenges that may lie ahead.  Assessments can identify:

  • the strongest performers
  • which employees have the aptitude to drive innovation
  • where weaknesses exist
  • the different attitudes of employees to change and uncertainty