As the global economy braces for a new recession, businesses around the world face many challenges. One of the most pressing is the need to build a leaner, more agile workforce to weather the storm. 

Fostering a resilient team requires a blend of strategic planning, embracing new work models and capitalizing on global talent. In this article, we're sharing seven data-backed strategies to get you started. 

The need for an agile workforce 

An economic downturn presents numerous business challenges: declining sales, tightening budgets and an uncertain future. These challenges necessitate rapid adaptation, flexibility and creativity — all hallmarks of an agile workforce.

An agile workforce can pivot quickly in response to changes in the business environment. This is particularly important during a recession when market conditions fluctuate dramatically and unexpectedly. Moreover, with the pressures of a recession leading to layoffs and hiring freezes, businesses need to do more with less.

Whether you upskill your current team or hire more generalists, having an agile and potent workforce enables you to maximize productivity and maintain operations even with fewer resources. It also allows you to scale up or down quickly as economic conditions change.

In other words, building a leaner and more agile workforce is not just a strategy for surviving a recession - it's a strategy for thriving amid change and uncertainty. With this in mind, let's explore seven strategies for building your own powerhouse team. 

7 ways to build a more agile workforce

In challenging economic climates, organizations need to adapt and evolve. A leaner and more agile workforce can be the key to surviving and thriving during these times. Here are seven ways to build such a workforce.

1. Embrace remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that remote work is not only possible but can also be highly efficient. Companies that have successfully switched to remote work have found that it can lead to higher productivity, lower overhead costs, and happier employees who appreciate the flexibility it offers. 

Furthermore, a 2020 National Bureau of Economic Research study found that remote workers are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. By embracing remote work, companies can build a leaner, more agile workforce better equipped to weather economic downturns.

2. Invest in technology

To facilitate remote work and improve overall efficiency, companies should invest in technology. This includes project management tools, communication platforms, employee monitoring and cloud storage solutions, among other things. 

By leveraging technology, companies can streamline processes, improve collaboration and reduce the need for physical resources, leading to a more streamlined operation. In fact, 46% of employees report access to digital tools makes them more productive. So, by leveraging technology, you can boost output without having to expand your workforce.  

3. Prioritize employee training and development

Employee training and development are crucial for creating an agile workforce. By providing employees with the skills and knowledge they need to adapt to changing circumstances, companies can ensure they're prepared for any challenges that may arise. This includes training in new technologies, problem-solving skills and adaptability. 

Just how valuable is training? According to recent research, providing training can increase retention by as much as 60%

4. Hire global talent

As companies switch to remote work, the pool of potential talent becomes global. This allows companies to hire the best person for the job, regardless of their location. 

Hiring global talent provides access to a wider range of skills and perspectives and allows companies to operate across different time zones and meet tighter budgets, further increasing their agility.

5. Promote a culture of adaptability

A company's culture significantly influences its ability to adapt to change. Oftentimes, larger, more established companies struggle with overcomplex infrastructures that make it difficult to change and adapt. 

By promoting a culture of adaptability, companies can encourage employees to embrace change, think creatively and be proactive in finding solutions to challenges. According to the Harvard Business Review, promoting adaptability should be one of the primary focuses for businesses today. 

6. Implement flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements, like flexible hours or job sharing, can increase employee satisfaction and productivity. They can also allow companies to better adapt to fluctuations in demand. This one sort of expands on the last point. Essentially, if your company embraces flexibility, adapting to the punches that come in an economic downturn won't be as challenging. 

7. Foster open communication

Open communication promotes trust and collaboration, which are essential for agility. By fostering open communication, companies can ensure everyone is on the same page and that any issues or challenges are quickly addressed.

It's why open and effective communication can boost productivity by as much as 25%. Moreover, companies with more than 100,000 employees lose $62.4 million each year to miscommunication. Even smaller companies, those with 100 employees, lose around $420,000 annually to communication problems. This sort of loss is something businesses definitely want to avoid during a recession. 

Start creating a more agile workforce with Outstaffer

Building a leaner and more agile workforce is no easy task, especially during a global recession. However, by employing some of the techniques above, companies can navigate these challenging times and come out stronger on the other side.

If you want to build a more agile workforce – Outstaffer can help. As a Global EOR, we enable companies to quickly and cost-effectively find, hire, manage and equip top talent from around the world in just a couple of clicks. Plus, with our #WorkFromAnywhere technology, we give you and your global team everything you need to thrive. 

Want to learn more? Schedule your demo today

May 24, 2023
Talent Shortage

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