These are truly disturbing and crazy times we now find ourselves living in. Many Australians have lost their jobs over the past week, with more job losses likely to come in the coming weeks and months.
It’s very likely that we will find ourselves not just in a global pandemic, but also a global recession. For many these are crisis times as the Coronavirus plays havoc with economies around the world.
Darren Laudenbach is the founder of God’s Money Matters and also a speaker, trainer, mentor and coach on financial matters for individuals and businesses. He joined Neil Johnson on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty program to discuss if you’re a business that has either been forced to close due to the Coronavirus restrictions or forced to close due to the upcoming economic downturn.
“It’s certainly been an incredibly busy time, especially for business people having to make decisions by the hour,” Darren reflects about having to close a restaurant that he recently opened. “Somebody joked with me the other day asking if I had started the Netflix binge thing yet, and that certainly hasn’t happened. We opened a business on the 27th of December, that was a restaurant and we employ about forty people at any one time.”
“On Tuesday we had the sad fact of reality and the brutal thing we had to do of course was to let people go, because we’re just not allowed to open. We can only do take-away and it’s not really a take-away restaurant. We’re trying to manage that at the moment.”
“We had lots of conversations on Tuesday which were very, very tough indeed, but we felt like we needed to act quickly and give people certainty.”
Even though the forced closures of businesses were announced by the Prime Minister on TV, it still wasn’t an easy conversation to have with staff when Darren had to let them go.
“At first there was a little bit of annoyance or frustration certainly, but I think there was also relief what we did it like we did it and done it quickly so they weren’t sitting around and being uncertain about what was going to happen.”
“We felt that we needed to do that so they could get onto some of the government benefits early, rather than trying to put on casuals and reduce their hours. We felt it was financially better off for them, based on the rules that are out there at the moment where government benefits are concerned.”
“We are telling them honestly that as soon as we can we’ll have them back. And I think because of the way we’ve dealt with them, I feel that a lot of them will come back to us when this is all over and done with.”
There is also the knowledge that we all have that this Coronavirus pandemic won’t last forever, and at some point businesses will be given the go-ahead to reopen by the Government. Most employers will won’t want to start the rehiring process all over again, so it’s really important that relationships are kept intact during the firing process, that the employee knows their manager is looking out for their best interests, so that the employee wants to come back again when the business reopens.
“We really do love our team members and get to know them quite intimately,” Darren continues. “One of our team members we brought over from another one of our businesses that was sold not too long ago, so overall she’s been within the Group for about six years. We’ve had another few people that have been with the Group for 2-3 years. These are people we’ve got long term relationships with and we want to maintain those relationships.”
“We can’t determine how people are going to react to what we do and say with the actions we have to take, but we can do our best to treat them as individuals and treat them as fairly as we possibly can, and care for them wherever we can.”
Listen to Neil’s full conversation with Darren in the podcast below where he takes you step by step through the process of how to let staff go in the most loving way possible, retain them when your business reopens and how to keep managing your business when the government forces you to shut down.
About Darren Laudenbach
Darren Laudenbach has a unique range of financial skills and business experience that has helped him develop a range of courses and programs tailored to help Christian business owners effectively get out of debt and become better stewards of their business finances.
Book a free one-on-one consultation with Darren Laudenbach at businesslift.com.au.