When tough times hit, many companies immediately look at cutting back on their workforce, but Kgomotso Ramoenyane, the executive general manager of human resources at finance company Business Partners, says there are other approaches available. "When faced with shrinking revenue figures, small-business owners should first review their cash-flow management and explore ways to optimise it," she says. She has this advice: • Be upfront and communicate with your workers. If the business is battling financially, tell your staff - they are more likely to support any turnaround strategy if they feel they have been involved in the process; • Do not hold a meeting to inform employees that changes will be made to salaries. If part of the strategy is to contain costs in the form of not giving bonuses or annual increases until the business turns around, discuss this with staff. Similarly, discuss the possibility of decreasing salaries; • Offer your workers a range of options - rather than just c...

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