HR Confronts the Downturn

Your Chance to Win a $1,000 SHRM Economic Stimulus Prize

SHRM is aware that members are feeling the effects of the current financial crisis.  They also know that you're developing innovative strategies to help your organizations and employees weather these tough economic times. 

SHRM wants to celebrate your efforts to confront the economic downturn.  They want to reward an "economic stimulus" prize of $1,000 to each of the 10 SHRM members who send the best examples of programs or strategies they and their HR departments are implementing in response to the current economic conditions. 

All SHRM professional members are eligible to send their entries from December 15, 2008–January 20, 2009, to  SHRM representatives will select the 10 winners and announce them in early February, 2009.  The 10 winning examples will be publicized and included in a compilation of the most valuable entries. 

SHRM will accept one case study per company/organization. The program or strategy you submit must have been developed in response to this year's economic downturn, but it does not have to be a completely new program nor does it have to be completed in 2008.  SHRM is interested in hearing about any initial and/or anticipated benefits from your program or strategy. 

Some of the types of examples they are looking for could involve the following: 

Business Acumen:  Programs designed to help your HR department better understand the economic forces challenging your business and the areas in which your department can maximize its bottom-line contribution 

Workforce Planning:  Strategic planning to determine your workforce needs over the next 2-5 years based on different economic scenarios 

Succession Planning:  Analysis of your critical positions and internal candidates to fill them to ensure your organization survives and prospers after the recovery 

Recruitment:   Targeted recruitment to take advantage of top-notch talent that becomes available as a result of the downturn  

Retention:  A retention strategy that provides the necessary incentives to motivate your high performers to stay on board 

Older Workers:  Programs to recruit, develop, and retain older employees who may want to work beyond normal retirement age because of the economic downturn 

Leadership Development:  Meaningful leadership development programs that promote retention and motivate your employees to be more creative and productive 

Communications:  Confidence-building internal communications from senior management to your employees, assuring them of their value to your organization 

Special sessions with key employee groups to underscore your company's commitment to them 

Career Development:  Programs that assess, counsel, and retrain displaced employees for work in other units 

Layoff Strategies:  Strategies that aim to avoid sudden large layoffs and minimize the effects of job reductions on employee morale     

Cost Reduction:  Programs that generate efficiencies, greater productivity, and cost reductions 

You may address any questions to Fred Emmert at