Communicating for Engagement During Tough Times
Layoffs added to the challenge of keeping employees engaged during the downturn at the recruitment outsourcing division of Manpower Business Solutions.
Manpower Business Solutions, a unit of the staffing company Manpower, cut some jobs in the U.S. during the recession.
The number of workers affected was “minimal,” says Tracy Qamou, director of recruiting operations for Manpower Business Solutions, which also provides services such as training and workforce planning. Nonetheless, Qamou and her team worked to make sure the 80 or so employees in the recruitment outsourcing division were kept informed of the company’s direction, goals and business prospects. That communication helped bolster morale, Qamou says.
“It created a sense of security,” Qamou says, stopping the panic before it started.
A heavy focus on communication at the company is standard in both good times and bad, Qamou says. That’s important partly because her operation is so dispersed. The bulk of Qamou’s recruiters work from home offices. Given that recruiters may immerse themselves in a client’s operations, keeping them connected to Manpower can be difficult, Qamou says.
“It’s very easy for them to feel they are more associated on a daily basis with that client rather than an employee of Manpower,” she says.
For Qamou, the challenge is to make sure these virtual employees see that what they do contributes to the firm’s overall mission.
“To keep an outsourced, remote workforce engaged, communication is critical,” she says. “In Manpower Business Solutions, management reinforces how the daily, sometimes small actions of the team contribute to the Manpower vision. It facilitates a team-oriented feeling.”
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