Have your say: What is the costliest mistake HR can make in a downturn?

by HCA24 Jun 2009

Human Capital is keen to hear your thoughts for an upcoming article on HR's costliest mistakes in a downturn. It could be poor communication; failing to step up to the plate; neglecting L&D or retention. Has there ever been a situation where you've thought: 'I wish that was handled differently?' If so, we'd like to hear from you. Respond below or via email editor@hcamag.com Responses will remain anonymous if used in Human Capital's article unless otherwise directed.


  • by Aaron 25/06/2009 11:41:37 AM

    Poorly communicated, poorly planned redundancies would have to be the most costly mistake made by HR during a downturn.

    Poor communication damages the psychological contract and can create problems with survivor syndrome with those that are left.

    Poorly planned redundancies see good people go from organisations. The type of people that will be sorely missed when things turn around.

  • by Kylie 25/06/2009 12:49:38 PM

    Poor communication to the "survivors" of redundacy

  • by Michele 25/06/2009 12:56:30 PM

    Not fighting hard enough to prevent an ill-conceived redundancy plan that was rolled out extremely quickly over all my objections. I negotiated, persuaded and ultimately fought against what I knew would be a disaster, but didn't win.

    Not only was it the poor executiion and planning of redundancies that sent ripples of dismay and hostility through the business, but the refusal of the decision makers to look at the analysis on what the actual dollar cost would be, instead it just a knee-jerk reaction to bad times.

    Result: demoralised,distrusting and hostile remaining workforce, and a business left reeling from the cost of the redundancies which took more than 12 months work to recover (both dollars and trust).

    Even if I had fought even harder than I did at the time, I could not have stopped or changed the process and would have joined the others out on the street with my bag & baggage, but it still haunts me.

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