People-issue focus crucial to downturn survival (Guest commentary)10 questions to ask before changing pay programsBy Ronny Aoun02/09/2009|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2009 The economic challenges of 2008 set the stage for a tumultuous start to 2009. Companies gearing up for the year ahead should zero in on a strong human capital strategy that allows them to retain high performers and remain mindful of compensation, all while planning for the future.Approaching retention in a downturnCost reduction is a critical agenda item in the current economy. For many companies, the knee-jerk reaction will be to cut costs quickly on personnel-related expenses, since these make up a significant share of total expenses. But while labour may seem like an obvious expense, holding on to top performers during the downturn can actually help you stay afloat and reduce costs over the long term. To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In Remember Me Forgot Password If you are a current Subscriber, please click here to set-up or update your login information.