With the news this week that the UK is officially in an economic recession for the first time in 11 years, what does this mean for you, your business or your employers?

The difference with this recession is that it was not market driven. 2008 saw the collapse of the financial markets due to toxic repackaging of debt. Once the inevitable loss of some business (e.g. Lehman Brothers) and mergers of others coupled with unprecedented bail-outs from the government, the market could begin to grow and rebuild confidence with traders which led to recovery. In 2020, the situation has been driven by policy and global uncertainty related to public health from the Covid pandemic. As countries look at finding balance between public safety and economic prosperity, confidence in markets and opening opportunity is affected due to the uncertainty of how long cities will operate under eased restrictions versus the local lockdowns we have seen in Leicester and Aberdeen. 

If you are running your own business, these uncertain times are no doubt adding pressure to an already difficult position. The choices faced will (at a basic level) focus on solidifying existing customers/markets or will look at diversifying markets, spreading the risk across multiple customers. Rather than making a choice between the two, a mix and match approach until clarity materialises may be beneficial.

As an employee, these are uncertain times with the risk and fear of continued furlough or threat of redundancy. What can you do to help? The chances are that your employer is also struggling to understand where the next road will take you. Open up conversation as early as possible. Bring colleagues together to understand the predicament the company finds itself in and look at the possible best, next best, worst and next worst scenarios. Understanding the impact will release some of the unknown pressure, and from this position, conscious thought may prevail discovering potential avenues from which to build an action plan for the company. 

As the employer, honesty, integrity and being inclusive of your staff builds loyalty, trust and understanding. There is no magic potion in these situations, but having a clear communications strategy removes additional noise and allows everyone to process the possible outcomes and nurtures ideas and potential action pathways. 

Though the outlook may look bleak for many at this time, there is always time to talk, review and look for another way. Whether you entrust those who work with you or external experts to advise and coach, the time is there to review and plan. Avoid headless chicken decisions for short term benefit that cannot be sustained. All that happens is the problem is shifted down the line to a time where options maybe further reduced. Calmness, clear thinking and understanding all the possible outcomes can be a real leveller and reduce some of the burden currently faced. Trust that there are always options, whether good or bad. Understand what these good and bad outcomes mean to enable us to move forward. Trust yourself to make the right decision for you, which in turn will enable the right decision to be made for others.

With the news this week that the UK is officially in an economic recession for the first time in 11 years, what does this mean for you, your business or your employers?

The difference with this recession is that it was not market driven. 2008 saw the collapse of the financial markets due to toxic repackaging of debt. Once the inevitable loss of some business (e.g. Lehman Brothers) and mergers of others coupled with unprecedented bail-outs from the government, the market could begin to grow and rebuild confidence with traders which led to recovery. In 2020, the situation has been driven by policy and global uncertainty related to public health from the Covid pandemic. As countries look at finding balance between public safety and economic prosperity, confidence in markets and opening opportunity is affected due to the uncertainty of how long cities will operate under eased restrictions versus the local lockdowns we have seen in Leicester and Aberdeen. 

If you are running your own business, these uncertain times are no doubt adding pressure to an already difficult position. The choices faced will (at a basic level) focus on solidifying existing customers/markets or will look at diversifying markets, spreading the risk across multiple customers. Rather than making a choice between the two, a mix and match approach until clarity materialises may be beneficial.

As an employee, these are uncertain times with the risk and fear of continued furlough or threat of redundancy. What can you do to help? The chances are that your employer is also struggling to understand where the next road will take you. Open up conversation as early as possible. Bring colleagues together to understand the predicament the company finds itself in and look at the possible best, next best, worst and next worst scenarios. Understanding the impact will release some of the unknown pressure, and from this position, conscious thought may prevail discovering potential avenues from which to build an action plan for the company. 

As the employer, honesty, integrity and being inclusive of your staff builds loyalty, trust and understanding. There is no magic potion in these situations, but having a clear communications strategy removes additional noise and allows everyone to process the possible outcomes and nurtures ideas and potential action pathways. 

Though the outlook may look bleak for many at this time, there is always time to talk, review and look for another way. Whether you entrust those who work with you or external experts to advise and coach, the time is there to review and plan. Avoid headless chicken decisions for short term benefit that cannot be sustained. All that happens is the problem is shifted down the line to a time where options maybe further reduced. Calmness, clear thinking and understanding all the possible outcomes can be a real leveller and reduce some of the burden currently faced. Trust that there are always options, whether good or bad. Understand what these good and bad outcomes mean to enable us to move forward. Trust yourself to make the right decision for you, which in turn will enable the right decision to be made for others.

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