Difficulty of HR in Thailand during Economic crisis
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Thailand was known as a new star in Asia during the past decade but now everything has changed. We all faced the Asia crisis during 1997, which started in Asia and moved to another part of the world, but this time it has come another way around. During the last crisis many industries had to close and many employees were laid off. The damage started in the Financial and construction areas, then moved to all industries.
Many people lost their jobs and had to sell everything. Many millionaires turned poor and many new business owners started. Most of them were former middle management or experts in many industries who no longer had jobs. They started their new businesses on a small scale but enough to extend their lives.
Most of the decision to lay off or close businesses came from the internal result. Many MNC took advantage during that crisis to expand their investments in Thailand or to buy cheap businesses. The financial support from Head Office was very strong and made many companies become business leaders in Thailand.
Now the situation is different. Many companies have had to lay off or close not because of the damage in their Corporate and Head offices.
It is difficult for HR teams to communicate the losses and lay off people when they just enjoyed success a few months ago. Many companies did well early last year and did the worst ever by the end of last year. Most of the Thai workers see this effect was created by someone far away, but it wasn't.
Also the political confrontation in the last couple years gave Thais a lot of awarness of their rights. They have learned a lot from that fight and are now using that to debate with the companies.
HR's role today to manage the closing or lay off issues is not that easy. We need to understand everything and be able to share the truth with all stakeholders. It is a big challenge for us to manage all of this peacfully and keep our jobs as well.