As many as 41 Lakh individuals lost jobs due to COVID-19 in India. While this was not something that was anticipated, it came as a strong blow on both the companies and the employees. Several companies had to initiate job cuts so as to flourish in the current scenario where the country’s economy is at an all time low. Goldman Sachs’s latest growth forecast shows that the country’s GDP plunged 23.9% in the April-June quarter as compared to a year ago. This is the biggest decline since 1996 and the worst time for major economies tracked by Bloomberg.
This data clearly states that major businesses had to shut down or ask their employees to leave which further lead to mental illness, anxiety and even worse scenarios in certain cases. While we have to understand that these are very unprecedented times at the same time it is equally important that businesses/companies adapt to an approach that provides complete transparency to its employees about any major changes that are prone to affect them. Additionally, it is also important that employees are provided both emotional and financial support wherever necessary.
Here are 5 points that employers must keep a note of, especially during stressful times like these-
- Organize wellness sessions for employees - Wellness Sessions like Yoga/Mediation, Professional Counseling, Laughter Clubs, Online Activities must be organized to help the employees open up about their problems and at the same time also gain knowledge on how to eradicate any negative thoughts. These sessions can also be helpful in preparing the employees for any unforeseen situations through positive counseling.
- Regular One-two-ones between the team leader and the team members - It is important that all teams in an organization must have regular one-two-ones to discuss about any personal or professional issues with their team heads/supervisors/managers. It is also important that the team leaders must be receptive and open to providing help to the team members or raising their concerns with the management. These small steps provide much needed emotional support to the employees and they can overcome the negative feelings with such sessions.
- Management must communicate transparently - At times like these when no business is stable, it is important that the management directly communicates with its employees through company meetings and share the future plans and current statistics. In case of any anticipated job cuts, salary deduction or delays, the senior managers must be the source of communication so that the employees can gauge the magnitude and authenticity of the message. At the same time the SMGs (Senior Management Groups) must be able to provide a future plan of improvement to the employees.
- Provide Financial Support - Employees must be given incentives, regular appraisals and salary raise. Every employee works to earn bread and butter for himself and his family. So, pay cuts, or lower salaries can lead to dissatisfaction and a troubled mind, which will ultimately lead to lower productivity. Therefore, it is important that a minimum wage must be set for every position which must be the standard. Additionally, incentives and regular appraisals and promotions must be subject to employee performance. This will help in developing a transparent salary system in the organization. Incentives like medical insurance, PF etc. must be essentially given to all employees in an organization.
- Loyalty must be Rewarded - Special monetary rewards for employees who have spent 5 years or more in an organization must be given. This shows how the management cares for brand loyalty and values its employees. It is important that in times like these when everything is so uncertain, organizations must not stop valuing their employees and continue to reward their team for their hardwork.
COVID-19 had brought several businesses to a standstill in the country, but with the lockdown gradually being lifted, businesses have now resumed and it is important that they provide all essential incentives to its employees that stayed with them and worked without any salaries. Only the companies that value the physical and emotional health of its employees can flourish through the toughest of times because their employees stand by them.