17th January 2023

How to Strengthen Workplace Relationships During a Recession

When the economy experiences a recession, people are starting to feel less secure in their jobs and the future of their companies. The days of layoffs and firings increase during such volatile periods.

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How to Strengthen Workplace Relationships During a Recession

When the economy experiences a recession, people are starting to feel less secure in their jobs and the future of their companies. The days of layoffs and firings increase during such volatile periods.

The recession also leads to a higher unemployment rate, compelling many employees to still face a tough question: how to survive during turbulent economic times? According to People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View by ADPRI, nearly 62% of employees decided to switch their jobs to future-proof their careers. That’s not good for your organisation and could lead to bitter relationships among employees.

As an organisation, what steps can you take to make sure your workplace relationships stay intact during this difficult time?

Provide Better Work-Life Balance

As the recession continues to take its toll on the American workforce, many organisations have found that they must work harder to retain their employees. One way to do that is by providing a better work-life balance.

According to Pulse of the American Worker Survey, roughly 50% of American employees want to switch their jobs to have a better work-life balance. This is especially true for people working in small companies where they experience pay cuts during a recession.

Organisations can overcome this problem by providing better work-life balance through a hybrid work model. The idea behind this model is to allow employees to work from home or remotely for a certain number of days each month, enabling them to save money on commuting and other aspects.

In fact, a recent report from Accenture found that 83% of employees would prefer a hybrid model, enabling employees to be flexible with their schedules and work remotely when needed.

Empower Employees to Give Feedback

Employees who feel they cannot give genuine feedback to their managers often find themselves stuck in toxic relationships with them. This can lead to higher turnover rates and lower productivity rates, which can worsen the financial hardships of organisations during a recession.

The best way for organisations to overcome this problem is by seeking employee feedback from time to time. In fact, a recent study shows that when employers seek feedback from new hires, they are 91% more committed to their relationship with employers.

It is important for organisations to seek anonymous employee feedback as this reduces feelings of inhibition and empowers employees to voice their concerns without feeling scared. Also, organisations must act on such anonymous feedback by addressing issues raised through such surveys.

Offer Opportunities for Appreciation

During a recession, employee relationships can be strained. Employees often feel undervalued or disrespected in the workplace and can become disengaged. This can lead to bad work performance and even high employee turnover rates.

In fact, according to recent data from Zippia, 63% of workers reported unpleasant co-workers and a bad boss are the second most common reasons for quitting jobs.

But there are ways to strengthen workplace relationships even during a recession, and one of the best strategies is to offer opportunities for appreciation.

In fact, Brandon Hall Group research found that organisations with a strong recognition culture are three times more likely to experience higher employee retention. When employees feel more engaged and appreciated in their jobs, they are more likely to want to stay at the organisation long-term.

Reduce Employee Burnout

In recent years, employee burnout has been on the rise. It’s no secret that the economy has been struggling, and with that comes job insecurity and a lot of uncertainty. Many people are looking for ways to make their careers more secure, but a lot of people are also feeling overwhelmed with the current economic climate.

Such an environment can lead to employees feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, creating weakened relationships among employees. As per the 2022 Work Trend Index from Microsoft, 48% of employees and 53% of managers experience burnout in the workplace. Burnout not only leads to poor relationships among employees but also affects productivity.

Organisations can reduce employee burnout by implementing policies that promote better workplace relationships during a recession. You can start by helping your employees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, like their work has impact and meaning.


When the recession strikes, organisations need to be careful not to lose their employees in the scramble for survival. Organisations can foster healthy workplace relationships during the recession by taking these above-mentioned steps.

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