MADISON, Wis. (5/10/10)--Economic downturns can be the equivalent of a “perfect storm” for human resources managers charged with boosting performance and maintaining morale while instituting cost-saving measures that hit employees in their pocketbooks. So says a white paper from the CUNA Human Resources/Training Development (HR/TD). “Employee Relations and Performance Management During an Economic Downturn” explores how credit unions can use a performance management approach to develop a system for evaluating performance and offering rewards even as they adjust compensation and staffing during an economic downturn. The paper is based on information gathered from human resources leaders at six credit unions and an expert from a nationwide consulting firm. IT addresses the need for strong executive leadership, transparent communication, well-defined strategies for adjusting compensation and staffing levels, and the ability to maintain morale with recognition and reward programs, said the council. Participating credit unions say tough times have an unexpected benefit in forcing organizations to examine their values and their operations, including how they relate to employee compensation and performance management. Making difficult decisions about compensation and staffing levels can bring an unexpected clarity to the principles that guide policies, which can be articulated to employees and members, the paper said. For more information, use the link.